Fungayi Munyoro, Sports Correspondent
MUTARE-based junior tennis star Tashinga Mtisi’s star keeps shining after recently adding another accolade to his cabinet — the Ann Martin Junior Open Tennis tournament Under-12 title.
Mtisi is also the Under-12 national tennis champion.
Mtisi (11), a Grade Seven pupil at Mutare Junior School, won a gold medal in the boys’ Under-12 category.
A record total of 180 participants took part in this year’s Ann Martin Junior Open tennis tournament which had six age groups that include red ball (four to six years), orange ball (seven to nine years), green ball (nine to 10 years), Under 12, 14 and 18.
In the Under-18 boys’ category, Hesley Masara won gold, while Thompson Tomu came second.
In the Under-18 girls’ category, Tanatswa Musabaeka won with Chido Chimbetete coming second while Kimberly Peterson came third.
Winners in the boys’ Under-12 category were Tashinga Mtisi (gold), Tendekai Musabaeka (silver) and Brooklyn Jumbe (bronze).
Tino Chipfaka came first in the girls’ Under-12 category while Thandiwe Nkala was second.
In an interview, Mtisi said he dreams of a becoming a profession tennis pl;ayer.
He developed an interest in the sport while doing Grade Four at Mutare Junior.
“Mantas Tennis Academy visited our school. At the time I did not take an active interest in any sport. I just decided to join the club and little did I know that I was going to be the national champion. I have never looked back since 2017. I want to continue adding more silverware to my cupboard,” he said.
Since 2017, Mtisi has won a number of accolades which include the 2019 Mantas Open, which was held at Mutare Girls’ High School.
He also won gold at the Zimbabwe Closed Tennis at Harare Sports Club before winning another gold medal during the Central African Tennis Championships in Harare.
His dream is to play in Australia.
“I am working very hard and my dream is to play tennis in Australia.
I just love watching Australian tennis players and I am learning from them,” he said.
Mtisi laments lack of sponsorship as a hindrance to his career.
“Tennis is a good sport but many people only want to support football. The training equipment is expensive and travelling around needs a lot of money. My parents cannot go around with me because it is very expensive,” he said.