Rising tennis progidy Tadiwanashe Mauchi claimed her maiden doubles title on the ITF World Tennis Juniors following a memorable run at the Cranrid Petroleum-sponsored J5 Tournament which at the Bulawayo Country Club on Saturday.
The 16-year-old Zimbabwean and her South African playing partner Sophia Fuller capped off a memorable week after winning 6-4, 7-6 in the final against the South African duo of Celina Joseph and Che Nel.
The maiden doubles victory on home soil is expected to significantly boost Mauchi’s world ranking as she continues to make significant strides on the ITF World Tennis Juniors.
In addition to winning the doubles, Mauchi also reached the quarterfinals of the singles competition where he lost 3-6, 1-6 to the eventual winner Celina Joseph from South Africa.
Mauchi’s compatriot Tanya Midzi came agonisingly close to winning her maiden singles title on the ITF World Tennis Tour Juniors after losing to Joseph in the final.
The 15-year-old put on a good show in the high-profile tournament as he went all the way to the final, where she eventually lost to Joseph 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 in a tightly contested encounter.
Midzi, who has been enjoying a good run of form on the juniors’ circuit had done well to take the first set but her South African opponent fought her way back into the contest to take the second and third sets
Despite losing in the final, it was still a very successful week for Midzi after she posted some very good results on her way to the final.
In the semi-finals, Midzi beat Sophia Fuller of South Africa 6-2, 6-1 while Joseph came from a set down to see off Herena Voaviandraina of Madagascar 1-6, 6-2, 6-0.
Joseph’s victory in the final against Midzi meant South Africa completed a sweep of both singles title after their player Calum Jestin won the boys final after beating Hanu Patel of the United States of America 6-7, 6-1, 6-2.
The boys’ doubles title was won by the South African duo of Jestin and Joseph Townes after a 6-2, 6-4 win over Luke Bowman and Patel 6-4, 6-2 in the final.
The tournament was sponsored by Cranrid Petroleum, whose chief executive Peter Mauchi is the father to the girls’ doubles winner and a big supporter of tennis development in Zimbabwe.
Mauchi said his company decided to sponsor tennis for the juniors so as to give Zimbabwean youngsters an opportunity to earn some ITF points.
“As Cranrid, we realised that our juniors were not getting enough support and exposure. If you go to other countries like Morocco, Tunisia, North Africa and East Africa, a lot of corporates there they support junior tournament and junior development,” Mauchi said.
“So, this is not our first time, we started last year and Cranrid is the first company to support junior tennis in Zimbabwe. We realised for us to give them a chance where they can earn a few points, let’s bring the tournaments here,” Mauchi said.
The second tournament, also sponsored by Cranrid Petroleum officially starts at the same venue on Monday and runs until Saturday. Cranrid Petroleum are also sponsoring three tournaments in Harare in August.