Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
A back injury forced junior tennis sensation Ethan Sibanda to pull out of the boys’ ITF Under-18 second-leg tournament at Bulawayo Country Club on Thursday.
Sibanda retired hurt during his quarter-final tie against South African Yarona Morule while losing 2-4 in the second set. He had lost the first set 2-6.
The 16-year-old said he picked up the injury in the first-leg of the competition last week.
“Today I wasn’t really feeling well physically. I was really tired from the last match yesterday. It was a really tough one and my back was sore. I wasn’t supposed to play today, as I was not fully fit, but I tried my luck,” said Sibanda.
“My lower back has been painful, especially when I am saving. The problem started last week with my first tournament since the lockdown. I am going to take a short break, maybe one week, and then consult a physiotherapist to help me recover soon. I should be back in about two weeks,” he said.
Sibanda fell to top seeded South African Andreas Scott (17) in the first-leg of the competition and was hoping for a better performance in the second-leg.
In other quarter-final matches, Benedict Badza fell to tournament top seed Andreas Scott 3-6, 5-7, while fourth seed Benjamin Scott beat Lyle Zaloumis 6-3, 6-2.
In the girls’ category, Tadiwanashe Mauchi and Tanyaradzwa Midzi sailed through to the semi-finals of the competition.
Mauchi powered past Egyptian Joody Elkady 6-1, 7-6 and Midzi beat Oriane Naledi Chabuya Raguin 6-0, 6-2.
Semi-final matches are set for Friday. – @innocentskizoe