KAMOHELO Khethisa and Lerato Mathibela will this weekend hoist the Lesotho flag at the 2022 Pro-Kennex lawn tennis tournament in Bloemfontein.
The tournament runs from tomorrow until Sunday.
The two players are from Cosmos Tennis Academy.
The event is used to earn players points from the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
Former tennis player and Cosmos Tennis Academy co-founder, Rantsane Monare, said that his players were invited by Tennis South Africa.
“This is a big event recognised by ITF. Players have a chance to start collecting points which eventually will see them getting ITF rankings,” Monare said in an interview with Lesotho Times.
The team will compete in both singles and doubles.
Monare said the tournament would be a good platform to weigh the players’ competitiveness.
“The players are still young and we hope the tournament will give them some exposure. They’re just starting their journey to be professional players,’ Monare said.
He said that they were working with Lesotho Lawn Tennis Association (LLTA) to ensure that the academy’s players compete in as many competitions as possible in South Africa.
“After this, we’ll them take them to more competitive events in the region and finally across the continent,” Monare said.
He said the duo’s performances were promising.
Khethisa came third and Mathibela fifth at the recent LLTA national tournament.
They were also part of the team that finished third at the African Union Sport Council (AUSC) Region 5 Games held in Lesotho in December last year.
Monare believes the two could have performed better at the Games if they had some international experience.
“They are good players with potential. Even during last AUSC Games they were good but stage fright worked against them.
“However, I am happy with their progress. I’m confident that their performance will gradually improve with time and more exposure.”
He said the players were also likely to be part of the Lesotho team going for AUSC Games in Malawi in December this year.
Cosmos Tennis Academy was opened in February 2021 with the aim of reviving the sport which has been on a downward spiral in the last few years.
The centre now has about 60 children of different ages.