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MATSAPHA – Back-to-back tennis champion Tandzile Dlamini and 19-year-old Farai Mareya were yesterday crowned champions of the first 2022 Seniors Tennis Tournament staged over the weekend at the University of Eswatini (UNESWA) at Kwaluseni.

Tandzile dominated both sets against Temancele Mavuso from Mhlume Tennis Club, winning 6-2 6-1. She progressed to the finals after beating Barika Sorokaibam 7-5 6-3 and Temancele cruised from the semifinals to the finals after a brilliant 6-0 6-0 triumph against Nompendulo Ntjangase. The returning champion acknowledged the competition presented by Temancele, but admitted that the lack of seniors’ tennis tournaments derailed the development of the sport, especially for the senior players.

The men’s final clash was tightly-contested by seasoned player Thulani Gina who faced 19-year-old Farrai Mareya. The latter dominated the first and third set and beat Gina 6-1 6-2. Gina managed to win the second set by a 7-5 scoreline, but failed to maintain the momentum.The young lad, whose dream is to play professional tennis in America, commended Gina for the effort and noted the improvement of local tennis. His semifinals opponent, veteran player Masiza Ntjangase went down 6-2 6-3.

“I’m happy with the improvement of local tennis standard and the competition presented by Thulani Gina. Seeing a country like Eswatini improving at this rate shows that with enough support and more tournaments, we have better chances. Otherwise, it was a very good tournament from the first day. as for my future dreams, I would like to go to America and play at a tennis academy there,’’ Mareya said. The Eswatini Tennis Association president, Derick Jele, said the tournament was one of more in line to be played this year as part of the E150 000 sponsorship unveiled by Swaziland Building Society (SBS) last month. SBS Marketing Officer Samkeliso Simelane represented the sponsor during the event.

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