Zimbabwe born Tennis Star Kim Bhunu Recalls Mind-Blowing Experience of Meeting Serena Williams in Person

Zimbabwe-born Kim Bhunu, a star player of California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly)'s women's tennis program, has made a name for herself not only for her outstanding performance on the court but also for her selflessness and compassion off it. Reflecting on her time at Cal Poly, Kim expressed her gratitude for being part of a team that treated her like family. She said, "I've just felt so loved because I feel like everyone has had my best interest in mind and wanted to see me grow."

Kim's impressive list of accolades includes being a two-time All-Big West First Team selection in doubles and earning All-Conference honours in singles twice. She is also one of only seven players in program history to receive First Team All-Big West honours in both singles and doubles in the same season. Furthermore, she is currently ranked inside the top 10 in school history in career doubles victories in dual matches and doubles winning percentage in duals.

Kim Bhunu with Serena Williams

Kim's love for tennis began at a young age when her parents enrolled her, her brother, and her sister in a sport. Tennis courts were conveniently located near their home in Harare, Zimbabwe. Kim said, "Sometimes I would go to my older sister's tennis lessons when I was super young, and on her water breaks, I would just hit a ball."

Kim initially struggled to find the motivation to practice regularly and even tried to avoid it. However, a change came when she started training with her sister's coach, who didn't accept excuses. Kim said, "I had excuses for everything on why I missed the ball and why I shouldn't run around the court, so I'm very thankful I went to him because from then on I got way better."

Despite initially aspiring to become a professional tennis player, Kim changed her mind after meeting Fanny Fracassi, a former University of South Carolina women's tennis coach. Fracassi encouraged Kim to consider playing college tennis and eventually helped her secure a spot on Cal Poly's team.

Kim's journey also took her to the ISP Tennis Academy in Biot, France, and eventually to the prestigious Mouratoglou Tennis Academy. There, she trained with some of the best tennis players in the world, including Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic. Reflecting on her experience, Kim said, "Seeing these athletes that you grew up watching on TV in person was mind-blowing."

Kim Bhunu will graduate from California Polytechnic State University with her Master's in Business Analytics in June 2023 after an incredible tennis career with the Mustangs. She was instrumental in the formation of Craft by Jáde — a non-profit aimed at ending material poverty for families in Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

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Mungwadzi Godwin

twitterinstagramI like sharing positive stories about Zimbabweans at home and abroad. I also write articles on Personal Finance, Fashion, Music, and Tech. Let's connect!

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