South Africa-based tennis star in the making Sasha Chimedza is amongst the select 44 junior and professional players identified by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to receive Grand Slam Player Grants in 2022.
The players will receive grants of up to $25,000, funded by the Grand Slam Player Development Programme as a contribution towards competition-related costs, with the aim of aiding their development in professional tennis and enabling them to compete at Grand Slam tournaments.
Chimedza, who trains at the Anthony Harris Tennis Academy in Cape Town is ranked 172nd on the ITF Junior world rankings and sixth on the continent.
The 14 year old clinched her maiden singles title on the ITF World Tennis Junior Tours title at the J4 Harare 2021 Tournament at Harare Sports Club in November.
Tennis Zimbabwe president Biggie Magarira said his association is pleased with Chimedza’s recognition.
“Tennis Zimbabwe and whole nation is proud of such a great achievement from our junior player with an ITF rank of 196. With this grant and support from the national association, family and coaching team, breaking into top 100 is an achievable goal,” Magarira said.
“On behalf of Tennis Zimbabwe and the tennis fraternity, we wish you Sasha, the best in 2022 and look forward to more ITF titles and a debut at a Junior Grand Slam in 2022.”
The Grand Slam Player Development Programme (formerly known as the Grand Slam Development Fund) was established by the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments in 1986 to encourage and increase competitive opportunities for players from developing tennis regions.
The Programme provides Grand Slam Player Grants to support players so that they can gain competitive experience at an international level, including at the Grand Slams.
Since its inception, the Grand Slam Player Development Programme has contributed more than $55 million to support player development.
In 2021, former Grand Slam Player Grant recipients Ons Jabeur, Casper Ruud and Hubert Hurkacz made history and finished the year in the Top 10 rankings.
Grand Slam champions Simona Halep, Victoria Azarenka, Jelena Ostapenko and Gustavo Kuerten are also among the Programme’s alumni.