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Mary Luhanga shines in Malawi Open

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Zambian Edgar Kazembe and Malawian Mary Luhanga won the men’s and ladies’ sections of Malawi Open Tennis Championship respectively, in Blantyre on Sunday.

In the final played at Malawi National Tennis Centre situated at Country Club Limbe, Kazembe outclassed Zimbabwean, Liberty Nzula 6-2 6-2.

Ruthless Kazembe also booted out Malawi’s third seed, Julius Taulo, in the semifinals 6-0 6-2, moments after dismissing defending champion, Italian Egon Tascher, 6-7, 6-4 7-6.

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Malawi’s top seed, James Matewere, was knocked out in the quarterfinals by Nzula after going down 7-5 6-4 6-4.

The six-time winner Kazembe urged Malawian players to compete in more international tournaments. Kazembe did not participate in last year’s event.

“For instance, I have been to Botswana and Kenya recently but I did not win. Two weeks ago, we also competed in Zambian Championship. I know Malawian players can do well if given the right platform,” Kazembe said.

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In the ladies’ category, Luhanga retained the championship after beating local rival, Patricia Matola-Mlomba, 5-7 6-4 6-4.

Luhanga said it was a difficult competition but she used her guts to frustrate her rival.

“We have good structures in Mzuzu and we always train hard,” she said.

In the men’s doubles, Kazembe and Chonya beat Matewere and Taulo 6-2 6-3 whereas in the ladies’ section Luhanga teamed up with Linda Msiska to beat Clara Hugas Mallorqui and Zione Nkhoma 6-2 6-1.

Lawn Tennis Association of Malawi (LTAM) General Secretary, Stan Kaunda, hailed Puma Energy, Mibawa Studios and Lube Masters for supporting the competition.

The four-day championship ended on Sunday and there were also players from Zimbabwe and Zambia. Germany-based Spaniard, Mallorqui also played.

Puma Energy Managing Director, Davies Lanjesi, promised continued support to the competition.

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