Zimbabwe’s Mehluli Sibanda missed out on claiming his maiden ITF World Tennis Tour title following an agonising three-set loss to South Africa’s Kris van Wyk in the final of the M15 Maputo Standard Bank Open in Maputo, Mozambique on Sunday.
The 22-year-old rising tennis star, who is a member of the country’s Davis Cup team got off to a brilliant start in a tense final by claiming the first set before going tough to do down 7-5, 3-6, 6-0.
It was also a maiden ITF World Tennis Tour win for the 26-year-old South African Van Wyk while Sibanda will have to wait a bit longer before he finally breaks through on the pro circuit.
Although Sibanda ultimately missed out on the coveted title he will reflect on what was a very successful week at the Maputo Tennis Club.
CHAMPION IN MAPUTO 🏆
🇿🇦 Kris van Wyk takes out Mehluli Sibanda 5-7, 6-3, 6-0 to claim the singles title at the M15 Maputo!
Well done, Kris! 👊 pic.twitter.com/CtXTqwVg6x
— Tennis South Africa (@TennisSA) October 9, 2022
The Zimbabwean star got his campaign off to an impressive start with a straight set 6-4, 64 win against Spain’s Miguel Garcia.
In the second round, Sibanda claimed the first set 7-5 before his Ukrainian opponent OleksandrBielinskyi retired due to injury.
There was also a retirement in the quarterfinals as Serbian ViktorJovic called it quits after Sibanda recovered from losing the first set 6-1 to win the second set 7-5 before storming to a 4-0 lead in the deciding third set.
Sibanda continued his fine form in the semis where he defeated Italy’s LorenzoBocchi 6-3, 0-6, 7-5 to set up a date with Van Wyk in the final.