MASVINGO – Orlean Mapako, a Victoria Primary School grade three pupil has earned herself the admiration of many after her exploits on the tennis court saw her winning two gold medals at the 2017 Harare Junior Open tennis tournament played earlier this month.
Together with her partner Precious Chiinze, she scooped the gold medals in the under 10 orange ball singles and in the doubles.
Speaking to TellZim News, Orlean’s coach Mark Chinyenyani said he had no doubt the young girl will do even better in the future due to her immense commitment and talent.
“I believe Orlean is an amazing tennis prodigy and one of the most naturally talented players I have ever worked with, she is the fastest developing player I have ever seen.
“She still needs a bit of fine-tuning and obviously the focus now should be advanced tactics and a bit of psychological training. She’s destined for greatness,” said Chinyenyani.
Orlean started playing tennis in the winter of 2015 under the guidance of United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) – trained Chinyenyani.
Within a month of training, she was able to serve, rally and score and she took part in her first tournament; the Astra Paints Tennis Centre Open in Harare where she played five matches, won three and lost two.
She then participated in her first national championship in Mutare at the Manicaland Junior National Open where she literally walked past all her opponents.
A month later she took her second national title at the Harare Junior Open.
Realising her potential, her coach moved her to an older age group where she competed against older players and then transferred from red ball to orange ball.
Nine months into training, she took part in her first orange ball tournament in Bulawayo, playing against older and more experienced girls and managed to reach the semi-finals of the tournament.
Currently, Orlean has four gold medals from the Mantas Open in 2015, the 2016 Harare Junior Open and the 2017 Harare Junior Open orange ball singles and doubles.sport