Malawi’s representative at the 2018 Africa Tennis Championship, Austin Phiri, finished 13th out of 32 participants in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe last week.
Phiri, who is Malawi Under-14 lawn tennis champion and a member of Mzuzu-based Saved By the Ball (SBB) organisation, was invited by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to take part in the two-week tournament, according to Lawn Tennis Association of Malawi (Ltam) head of technical committee Owen Mfune.
He won three out of five matches which was not good enough to compete for a podium finish.
Mfune said Phiri did not perform to their expectation.
“I was confident that he would bring a medal because three months ago, he impressed at a regional tournament held in Botswana where he was knocked out in the semi-finals,” he said.
Phiri was accompanied by lawn tennis technical director and coach Thomson Mtengula.
However, Italian lawn tennis tactician Egon Taschler, who is also sports coordinator at SBB, said the youngster did well, considering that the levels of tennis in other countries is advanced compared to Malawi.
“They have better academies than Malawi.So, finishing 13th is an achievement,” he said, adding that Phiri has the potential to do better in future.