Top ranked Chapepa carries Zimbabwe’s hopes ahead of African Junior Tennis Champs

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Teenage ace Kuzivaishe Chapepa will lead Zimbabwe’s medal hopes at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) /Confederation of African Tennis (CAT) Junior Championships in Lomè, Togo, from February 27 to March 10.

The 13-year-old South Africa-based starlet is currently the highest ranked player on the continent in the 14 and under age group.

Chapepa is expected to lead a eight-member team in the continetal competition which comes on the back of the Southern African Junior Individual and Teams Championships held in Namibia last month.

The girls’ team consists of Chapepa, Akeelah Khanye, Rutendo Tom and Mufaro Ruwanza, who scooped the gold medal in the January event.

Courage Ndlovu, Muchengeti Manzungu, Noah Samushonga and Anotipa Chigudu make up the boys team.

The team is coached by seasoned mentor Terrence Mazungaire.

“The Africa Junior Championship is the pinnacle of under-14 junior tennis in the continent and provides an important platform for our players to test themselves against the best in the continent,” said the Tennis Zimbabwe president Walter Jera during a press briefing held in Harare on Tuesday.

“This competition is an important part of the development pathway for the junior tennis players with potential to become the next generation of tennis professionals for our country,” said Jera.

Zimbabwe Tennis also revealed that the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee ( ZOC) is sponsoring the team’s travel as well as helping out with some necessities.

ZOC CEO Marlene Gadzirayi said: “As we look ahead to the Youth Olympics in 2026 in Dakar, we are dedicated to preparing our young talents for success and excellence.

“By investing in their training, development, and participation in international competitions like the Africa Junior Championship, we are laying the foundation for a bright future for Zimbabwean sports,” she said.

Africa Junior Championships results will be used by the International Tennis Federation for rankings which will also be considered for Junior Olympics qualification.

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