The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
ONE of the country’s most promising tennis players, Kudzai Chapepa is leaving for France on Wednesday to take part in the Grand Slam Player Development Programme (GSPDP), facilitated for by the Confederation of African Tennis (CAT) in conjunction with the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
An invitation was extended to the 14-year-old Chapepa to join the GSPDP/ITF/CAT 14 and under team to participate in a series of European 14 and under tournaments from 30 June to 7 August.
The project is being financed by the GSPDP and administered by the CAT.
It provides support to players so that they can gain competitive experience at an international level.
Chapepa is part of the African team that is made up of eight players, four girls and the same number of boys.
These are the best junior players on the African continent in that age group.
Chapepa is the only one from Sub-Saharan Africa, with the rest of the players from North African countries, Algeria, Egypt and Morocco.
A coach from Algeria will pick up Chapepa in France.
This is a great opportunity for the talented Chapepa to develop into a future grand slam tennis player.
She recently took part in two Cranrid ITF World Tennis Tour Juniors tournaments held at the Bulawayo Country Club.
She reached the singles quarter-finals of the second tournament and went as far as the doubles semi-finals of both events.
Her father, Fradreck is proud of his daughter who he believes has worked hard to earn the opportunity.
He expressed his gratitude to the Tennis Zimbabwe secretariat for assisting with Kudzai’s visa application.
“Kudzi has worked hard and we are proud of her.
We also like to thank tennis Zimbabwe, Confederation of African Tennis and GSPDP for the opportunity.
Cliff Nhokwara and Natasha Mbano were always a phone call away in assisting us her get the visa,’’ he said.
Chapepa’s current ITF juniors ranking is 1 634 while her best ever global position of 1 522 was achieved on 14 February this year.
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