TEAM Lesotho tennis coach, Mojalefa Mothibe has expressed confidence that his charges will rise to the occasion at the Under 18 Lesotho International Tennis Federation Junior championships which get underway tomorrow.
Lesotho will be represented by a nine-member team at the week-long tournament to be played at the National Tennis Courts in Maseru.
Manyama Maisa, Kekeletso Moseme and Karabelo Thite will play in the girls’ category while Mpalleng Sempe, Lehlohonolo Motsamai, Thaane Mokose, Teboho Morake, Sehlooho Lebusa and Refiloe Pheko will compete in the boys’ category.
Mothibe recently said they were well prepared and he did not expect below-par performances from his charges.
“We are ready for the big challenge and while it is not going to be easy it is also our chance to show other nations what we can do when we are at our own backyard,” Mothibe said.
“We worked hard to prepare the team. I know some will be making their debut at this kind of tournament but I will not be expecting any below-par performances.
“It is important that we do well because this is where it all starts if one wants to end up playing in big tournaments with the big guns such as Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams.
“They need to start by collecting many points here to improve their rankings,” he said.
The former national team player said while some could suffer from stage fright, the fact that they would be playing at home could work to their advantage.
“Some might suffer stage fright but at least we are playing home and hopefully that will work in our favour,” he said adding the players had been showing hunger and determination to do well during their training sessions.
Mothibe expressed his disappointment at Nyathi Motlojoa’s withdrawal from the tournament but said those who remained would accomplish the task.
“He is a good player and every coach would want to have him but he pulled out and there is nothing that we can do so I will go into the fight with the team that I have,” Mothibe said.