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Italian, Mary Luhanga win Puma Open

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Imperious Italian Egon Tascher and Malawian Mary Luhanga displayed classic performances to win Puma Malawi Open tennis championship titles on Sunday at Malawi National Tennis Centre, Country Club Limbe.

In a one-sided game, Tascher defeated James Matewere 6-3 6-1 6-3 to win the men’s section whereas Luhanga overcame rival, Patricia Matola-Mlomba, 7-6 3-6 6-2 to lift the ladies singles.

The Italian said it was a timely win having struggled during last year’s event.

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“It feels good to win. Last year, I also participated but I lost to Edgar Kazembe of Zambia, who eventually finished second. Hopefully, I will return next year to defend the title,” he said.

On her part, Luhanga encouraged both winners and losers to continue working hard to develop the sport.

“Of course, the competition was stiff but I was well-prepared,” she said.

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In men’s doubles, Matewere and Julius Taulo emerged winners through walkover against Wilson Paul and Henry Mtuta respectively.

In ladies doubles, Ivy Chilamwa teamed up with Prisca Maloya to humble Angela Msosa and Matola- Mlomba.

In mixed doubles, Matewere combined forces with Luhanga to beat Chilamwa and Wilson Paul 7-6 6-2.

Lawn Tennis Association of Malawi (LTAM) general secretary, Christopher Kachale, said despite the absence of players from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and DR Congo, the competition had an international flair following the presence of a Japanese and Italian.

“Much as we would have loved a lot of foreign players, there were some outside forces which contributed to the delay,” he said.

Puma Energy managing director, Davies Lanjesi, said they were impressed with the standard of play.

“Elsewhere, tennis players help countries generate forex because they are well paid in US dollars,” he said.

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