Black, Ullyett gold hopefuls in Athens

By Enock Muchinjo

TENNIS Zimbabwe (TZ) is optimistic the Davis Cup doubles team of Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyett will win a gold medal at the Olympic Games set for Greece in September.


Zimbabwe has not won any medal since the Moscow Games in 1980 and the tennis aces will be among the country’s medal hopefuls in Athens this year. Black and Ullyett are currently ranked the third-best doubles pair in the world.


TZ’s new president Cecil Gombera this week said the former US Open doubles champions will go to the Olympics as the best-prepared team since they play alongside each other on the ATP tour.


“Most doubles partners in the top ranks are of different nationalities and won’t play together in Athens. That is where we are likely to have an advantage,” he said.


The Zimbabwean doubles combination on Sunday won the Hamburg Masters Series in Germany ahead of next week’s French Open.


Both Black and Ullyett will also represent Zimbabwe in the singles matches at the Olympics. Cara Black will represent the country in the females category.


Meanwhile, Gombera also revealed that female junior player Fadzai Mawisire, who will also be travelling to the Greek capital, will however not compete at the Olympics.


Mawisire will be attending the Olypmic Junior Camp, a new initiative by the International Olympic Committee to which every country sends two future Olympiads, a male and a female, for training and orientation.


Before going to Athens, Mawisire will attend a youth camp in Morocco in June.


Mawisire, who won the highest points for Zimbabwe at the African Junior Championships this year, is the youngest ever winner of the Zimbabwe Open, which she clinched at the age of 14.


She has been based at the ITF/South African Tennis Association Centre in Johannesburg on a scholarship for the past four years.

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