There was a time when the game of tennis was a must even for the average Zimbabwean, courtesy of the blazing careers of the Black siblings Wayne, Byron and Cara.
There was also Kevin Ullyett and Genius Chidzikwe.
But it was Wayne and Byron who popularised this sport in the country, especially in the Davis Cup competition. Through their exploits, Zimbabwe managed to bring to our shores tennis greats like Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras of the United States.
Those were the days of grandeur and glory.
But all that is now in the past and one wonders if we are going to recapture that brilliance. For the past three years, the country has been in the Euro Africa Zone Group Three and last week, Zimbabwe once again failed to gain promotion.
The game has been on a free fall since the retirement of the Black siblings, Ulyett and Chidzikwe and there is always a sour taste in the mouth when one mentions tennis nowadays.
There are no more drum beating fans at the City Sports Centre, neither are there any promising greats on the way. It's all gone and all hope seems to be lost.
It has led many to question whether there is still light at the end of the tunnel for the sport.
Last weekend the Zimbabwe Davis Cup team once again failed to gain promotion to the Davis Cup Euro/Africa Zone Group II in Tunisia after falling 2-1 to Benin in the promotional play-off match.
The trio of Mark Fynn, Benjamin Lock and Tendai Tapfuma lost 0-3 to Tunisia before bouncing back with victories over Namibia and Ghana.
For a country that once reached the World Group quarter-finals in 1998 when we lost to Italy after defeating the highly fancied Australia in Mildura in the first round, this is cause for concern.
The country failed to invest in the future. We did not realise that a day would come when our tennis icons would retire from the game.
Failure to invest in the generation of Peter Nyamande, Chidzikwe and Gwinyai Tongoona left the country reeling.
The players had been picked on a talent identification programme, but were not afforded the chance to play in European Tours, which would have improved their game.
Apart from the parental influence, there is also need for the corporate world to come to the party and sponsor talent identification competitions.
The country's number one tennis player, Takanyi Garanganga, at the age of 22, is still playing Challengers tournaments, while at 17, Boris Becker lifted the Wimbledon Tennis tournament in 1985.
This follows investment in the player and the same can be said of the Black family whose father, Don, invested so much in them from an early age.
Lock has been playing in European tours and results are there for everyone to see as he managed to win his games in Tunisia, and maybe if Garanganga had been there, we could be talking of a different story.
For us to move from the Group, which is the lowest rung in the Davis Cup, there is a need for massive investment in players lest the glory of the good old days be relegated to the dustbin of history.
Tennis Zimbabwe vice-president Regis Bhunu could not have explained it better: "Zimbabwe players are scattered all over the world and it is financially difficult to bring them to practice and get guidance as a team. It is therefore not possible for Wayne or Byron to assist the players."
With the relegation of Morocco, Egypt and Madagascar to the same group, next year will be a bit difficult.
Gone are the old good days.