Rising tennis young star Mehluli Ayanda Don Sibanda is the winner of this year’s season ending tournament, the Select Healthcare Tennis Masters Open held at the Harare Sports Club where he beat his sibling Mzingaye 6-4, 7-5 in the singles and again teamed up with his brother to clinch the doubles to end the season on a high.
In the doubles the Sibanda brothers beat veterans Liberty Masunda and former Davis Cup captain Martin Dzuwa 6-4, 6-4 as youth triumphed over experience.
It was a Bulawayo affair when the Sibanda brothers dominated the fourth edition of the season ending tennis tournament this morning.
Dubbed “The Black Brothers of Bulawayo” the siblings went head-to-head and showed a sibling rivalry, hunger and zeal during the epic final of the Masters Open which also brought the curtain down on the tennis calendar for 2018.
“It’s like we are practicing when we against each other, there is no fear and everything to lose…I like playing against and with my brother because he brings out the best in me,” said Mehluli.
The small crowd at Harare Sports Club witnessed some fantastic tennis especially in the doubles where there was a transfer of experience from the veterans to the youngsters as they went into battle.
The Masters Open is one of the few remaining senior tennis tournament being held on the local tennis calendar apart from the ITF Futures.
The Masters Open attracted both youth and experienced players from yesteryears who rolled back the years with some exciting matches on the tennis court much to the delight of the small but appreciative crowd watching who included the drum-beating supporters from the high density suburb of Mufakose who brought back memories and were a regular feature at peak of Zimbabwe Davis Cup tennis team matches.
Among the veterans who played in this tournament included current Davis Cup captain Gwinyai Tongoona, Martin Dzuwa, Liberty Nzuka and Ndumiso Ncube to mention but a few.
Sponsors promised to make it bigger and better next year with the inclusion of the ladies and more youngsters although this year some of the youngsters came from as far as Mutare, Masvingo and other cities as tennis Zimbabwe strives to develop the sport and ensure the revival of other tournaments such as the prestigious Zimbabwe Open among other big tournaments.