HARARE – Tennis Zimbabwe (TZ) will not host this year’s edition of the Zimbabwe Open tennis championship after the International Tennis Federation (ITF) proposed that it be held in December.
TZ declined, saying the association could not host the country’s flagship tournament during the festive period.
“Hosting a Futures tournament has a number of advantages to our young players. If you play in Futures tournaments you earn points and this is a sad development to us,” TZ administrator Cliff Nhokwara told the Daily News.
“However, NetOne has committed itself to sponsoring the second ITF Futures tournament, with the other one being sponsored by 23rd Century Systems.
“We are going to host the event next year so that our local players will have an opportunity to get points,” added Nhokwara.
Zimbabwe’s failure to host such key tournaments meant that local players had to travel around the world to accrue points. But owing to the huge costs involved, most players were forced into early retirement.
Takanyi Garanganga won the men’s edition of last year’s tournament while Valeria Bhunu was the women’s champion.