Sibanda misses out on maiden ITF World Tennis Tour singles title in Maputo

Mehluli Sibanda

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.

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.



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