Mary Luhanga’s ambition to claim gold at the Matola Singles Lawn Tennis Open in Mozambique hit a snag when she lost 6-1, 6-1 to Zimbabwe’s Fazai Mawisili in the semi-finals on Monday.
Luhanga told Nation Online before she left for the competition alongside Wilson Paul and Julius Taulo last week that she would bring gold.
According to the Malawi team manager, Owen Mfune, Luhanga could not tick against the Zimbabwean in the semi-finals. But she got to a flying start on Sunday, having beaten Mozambicans Dava Isidolo (6-0, 6-0) and Ceclia Masinga (6-4, 6-3) in the quarter-finals.
With Taulo losing to Mr. Antonia and Paul eliminated in the early stages of the tournament, Malawi banked its hopes on Luhanga, but, unfortunately she too bowed-down in the singles semis,” said Mfune from Mozambique.
He said Luhanga tried her best in the doubles against Bugali Mkombe also of Mozambique, but only finished second.
Luhanda, however, said Taulo did not play the first game because he arrived at the venue late due to transport problems and his opponent won a walkover ticket.
“My appeal is that the Lawn Tennis Association of Malawi (Ltam) should give players international exposure. Athletes should also arrive at the venue of the games at least two days earlier so that they rest and practise on the court surface,” said Mfune.
Luhanga receive $200 (K68 800) for finishing in the singles semis and bowing out second in the doubles.