Senior tennis players bitter
Top local senior tennis players have admitted that it would be difficult for them to win the Malawi Open Championship, due to lack of Lawn Tennis Association of Malawi’s (LTAM) support.
The players were reacting to their pathetic performance during the last seven editions of the championship, which foreigners dominate.
Hackson Methiwa was the last local player to win the men’s championship in 2010.
Since then foreigners, including this years’ runner-up Edgar Kazembe of Zambia, have been dominating the competition.
Kazembe has won the competition four times and Kenyan Ishmael Changawa twice. Malawi-based Italian Egon Tascher claimed the 2015 championship.
Ishmael and her sister Shufwa emerged champions in the men’s and ladies categories, respectively, in Blantyre over the weekend.
Malawi-top-seed in men’s section, James Matewere, who lost in the third-round over the weekend, faulted LTAM for failing to address the challenges which senior players face.
“We keep on saying the same problems but nothing changes. So, don’t expect us to win because the association does nothing to expose us to more international tournaments,” he said.
Malawi’s second-seed, Julius Taulo, called on the association to seek the help of the corporate world for senior players’ participation in international competitions.
“The association should take a leading role in helping us to secure aid from the corporate world. Otherwise, we will continue being passengers during these tournaments,” he said.
LTAM General Secretary, Stan Kaunda, said they were courting the corporate world to support them in various projects.
“We are not looking at junior tournaments only as others think, but seniors’ events as well. We hope [that] we will get support from the corporate world to implement plans that will help us develop the game,” he said.
This year’s championship drew players from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya. Simbanet sponsored the championship to the tune of K7.5 million.
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