Malawi lawn tennis squad started poorly in the Under-14 African Junior Championships (AJC) qualifiers in Windhoek, Namibia on Sunday.
But South Africa-based Chisomo Lumeta emerged the only performer among the country’s four representatives to win matches on the day.
He earned a straight 6-0, 6-0 triumph over a Swazi before losing 4-6, 6-4, 6-7 to a Zimbabwean in a tight encounter.
His compatriots Anderson Mdala, Happy Shonga and Honest Soko lost all their games.
Coach Hackson Methiwa attributed the poor start to the high temperatures in the desert country.
“The players’ poor performance is understandable. There are terrible temperatures out here and our players were half-baked when they started the contest. We could not expect them to perform well when temperatures rose to 48 degrees Celsius,” he said.
But Methiwa said the players are adapting well to the weather and things will get better for the squad as the week-long event progresses.
“We are playing round robin matches up to Tuesday and then we will reach the knockout stage on Wednesday. We started on a slow note, but we will get back to form,” he said.
Malawi is one of the 10 African countries taking part in the qualifiers which will wind up on January 12.
The best players will make it to the AJC finals in Kenya in April, according to Lawn Tennis Association of Malawi (LTAM) president Duncan Gumbi.