After waiting long for a world ranking tournament, Botswana tennis star Phenyo Matong has a tougher and more challenging event ahead, the Mozambique F1 and F2 Futures scheduled for next month. The Mozambique F1 are billed for 1-7 June while the F2 Futures are scheduled for 8-14 June both at the outdoor Clube de Tenis de Maputo courts.
Matong has never played an International Tennis Federation (ITF) ranked tournament after playing the Senegal F1 and F2 Futures last year. In tennis, only ITF recognized events are used to give players world rankings and Futures are one of them.
Futures tournaments allow players to win career titles and improve their rankings. These type of events attract big names and high ranked tennis players across the globe, making the competition always intense. So Matong will be hoping to improve his rankings in the upcoming Futures event, a bigger challenge compared to Open(friendly or not in the ITF calendar) tournaments he has been playing. The tennis ace’s highest ranking is 1541, recorded on 26th May 2014.
Matong will go to the Mozambique Futures with his head high after doing impressively at a recent Open event held in South Africa called the Wilson R100 000 Challenge. Matong reached the semifinals and was unfortunate to lose 6-4, 6-3 against the top seed Brandon Laubser.
The prize money was paid from the quarter finals, with the Men’s singles winner receiving R20 000 and the Women’s winner R7000. Matong pocketed R3500. However, he has a big prize waiting for him at the Mozambique Futures if he wins. The prize for those who will walk as winners is USD 10 000(P97600).
Despite playing only one tournament this year, Matong is confident that he will do better and raise this country’s flag high. “I have prepared the best I could. I know that I only played one tournament the whole year but I won’t see it as an obstacle at all,” Matong told Gazette Sport.