Zimbabwe: Byo to Host Itf 18-and-Under Events

Senior Sports Reporter

INTERNATIONAL tennis is set to return to Zimbabwe at the end of this month.

Two International Tennis Federation 18-and-Under events are set to be held in Bulawayo.

The first tournament is set between May 31 to June 5 and the second one will run from June 7 to 12.

It will be the first international event in Zimbabwe this year.

Tennis Zimbabwe manager, Cliff Nhokwara, said they were confident a number of events lined up for the year, will be held.

"It's the first international event this year. Hopefully, it will be followed by the 14-and-Under and then by three (18-and-Under) events in Harare, between July and August.

"We had something in December, one week in Bulawayo and two weeks in Harare, so we are negotiating with the ITF to keep those 18-and-Under tournaments again.

"These are besides the ones we usually have in March and between July and August.

"There is still a possibility to host the futures events in the year and we have Davis Cup," said Nhokwara.

Zimbabwe will also be returning to compete in the Billie Jean King Cup, formerly the Fed Cup, and will be in Lithuania for the event set for June 15 to 19.

A four-member team made up of Valeria Bhunu, Rufaro Magarira, Tanya Midzi and Tadiwa Mauchi is set to represent the country.

"Tennis-wise it's always good to promote the girl child. It's also good to send a team to participate in the Fed Cup, now known as Billie Jean King Cup, since we have representation at all levels," said Nhokwara.

"We host all the other events we participate in and we go for events with boys and girls, so we cannot continue dropping the ladies, at senior level.

"Beyond junior level, we should also have representation by the seniors at such a high level."

They are also hoping to hold the 14-and-Under tournament in Bulawayo but are still waiting for approval from the Confederation of African Tennis.

"Ideally, we would to have it a week after the 18-and-Under but it's not yet approved by CAT.

"But, there is no reason why it should be turned down.

"With Covid-19, there are a few countries to host events and we are one of them," said Nhokwara.

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