Lawn tennis star Chisomo Lumeta might have failed to win the Mediterranee Avenir but he was the only African player to reach the round of 32.
The tournament, which took place in Casablanca, Morocco, four days ago, is a high-profile Under-18 lawn tennis competition that attracted participants from Europe, Asia and Africa, but all the 28 African representatives, except Lumeta, got the chop in the preliminary stages.
The 15-year-old, who recently won gold at the Southern African Junior Circuit Championships in Botswana, missed a chance to make it into the singles’ round of 16 after losing 1-6 and 1-6 to Victor Durasovic of Norway.
However, he reportedly got the praise from the International Tennis Federation (ITF) officials, who described him as a genius.
“The ITF guys at the High Performance Centre (HPC) in Morrocco [where Lumeta is based] said they have a gem in Lumeta. They described his performance as outstanding, considering his tender age.
“They said he just needs full support from the Malawi Government and other stakeholders to become a formidable star,” said Lawn Tennis Association of Malawi (Ltam) president Francis Mwansa.
Lumeta partnered Algerian Mahomed Nazim Makhlouf in the doubles category and they stuttered in the round of 16.
He also participated in the ITF/CAT African Closed Junior 18 & Under Championships two days ago in Casablanca where he failed to make it into the singles’ last-16 after losing 2-6 and 2-6 to Moroccan Amine Ahouda.
His joint effort with Ivorian Gueninle Abdoul Karim Ouattara in the doubles section earned them a quarter-final berth where they suffered a 2-6, 1-6 defeat to South Africans Francois Kellerman and Kris Van Wyk.
Lumeta won the scholarship at the HPC after winning gold during the Southern African Junior Circuit Championships in South Africa in 2009.