Malawi tennis coach Haxon Methiwa has said his charges will surprise the nation by winning the Malawi Open Tennis championship this weekend after playing second fiddle to foreigners for the past six years.
Zambians have been dominating the event and Methiwa says Malawians will win this yearâ€™s competition to take place at Blantyre Sports Club from Friday to Monday.
â€œIt is painful that we have been playing second fiddle at our backyard. This year, we want to change that. We have been training for the past three weeks and the players look desperate to win titles, so do not be surprised when we get the honours.
â€œSponsors of the event, Puma Energy, have increased the stakes to K2 million from last yearâ€™s K1 million. This is the only major competition we have in the country, so we must win it to show appreciation to Puma Energy Malawi for sponsoring the event,â€ said Methiwa.
The coach banks on Julius Taulo, Ronald Kandulu and James Matewere to stop the high flying Zambians.
Taulo salvaged Malawi pride by clinching a third position in last yearâ€™s event with Zambian Edgar Kazembe beating compatriot Nkumbo Chonya in the finals.
Kazembe, who is expected to play in this yearâ€™s event, has won it three times in the past four years. Patricia Matola won the ladies championship after defeating Mary Luhanga.
Meanwhile, it has been learnt that there will be nine foreigners, from three countries, at this yearâ€™s event.