Zimbabwe’s leading junior tennis players will have an opportunity to improve their international rankings by earning points on home soil when they serve off in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) South Central Circuit Zimbabwe Leg 6 and Leg 7 events in Bulawayo.
The back to back tournament will be played at Bulawayo Country Club from December 28 to December 10.
Zimbabwe is expected to field a big contingent of 16 budding tennis players in the event which will feature junior players from countries such as Australia, Austria, Botswana, Burundi, France, Great Britain, Denmark, USA, Ireland, Switzerland and Sri Lanka.
The tournament is part of the ITF World Tennis Juniors Tour, a development tour that provides players aged 18 and under the opportunity to travel the world and develop their talent.
The ITF World Tennis Juniors Tour provides a launch pad for the best players to go on and achieve success in the professional game.
Newly appointed Tennis Zimbabwe general manager, Kupakwashe Mukurumbira, said events would provide local junior tennis players with an opportunity to earn valuable world ranking points.
“The exposure obviously is key and the ranking part we have some that are doing fairly well that are there. Our hope is obviously that the ranking of our players constantly improves and exposure to competition like this one then gives (them a) platform for that ranking to improve,” said Mukurumbira.
“TZ recently developed a new strategic plan which will direct the organisation for the coming four years. The new strategy is deliberate and objective in developing and nurturing junior tennis talent.
“The hosting of international events now forms part of TZ’s mandate to expose tennis players to competition at the highest level. This tournament also serves as a way for effectively ranking players based on international performance,” said Mukurumbira.
In a sign of the growth of local tennis, Zimbabwe will have several players in the main draw in the boys and girls singles.
They include Thompson Thomu, Caleb Robb, Makanaka Whata, Ronan Mtisi, Kupakwashe Kanyore, Julie Tungamirai, Zahara El-zein, Hailey Banda and Ruvarashe Magarira.
Players who did not make the main draw will be hoping to progress from the qualifying round which will be played two days prior to the main draw matches.