Kenya’s Ismael Changawa Mzai and Shufaa Changawa dominated this year’s Rwanda Tennis Open, winning the Men and Women’s Singles titles on Saturday at Amahoro National Stadium courts.
The Mombasa natives defeated Ugandan Duncan Mugabe and Burundian Aisha Niyonkuru respectively in the final.
In the men’s title match, Changawa Nzai beat Mugabe in straight sets 6-2, 7-5 for a fourth consecutive victory against the 26-year-old Ugandan top seed. His elder sister Shufaa overcame Niyonkuru in three sets 2-6, 6-2, 7-5.
“It is an honour to be in Rwanda and compete with great players. I came here to win and I am thankful that I won the tournament and to make it even more satisfying is that my sister won the women’s title. Our parents are celebrating now,” Ismael Changawa said.
He noted that, “Our aim is to keep developing and become better players not only in our region but across Africa.”
In the women’s category, Shufaa lost the first set 6-2 before recovering to win the second 6-2 and then the third.
“Last year, I lost in the final but today I wanted to show that I am capable of beating a very good player like Aisha. To come from a set down and win the title and my brother winning the men’s tournament is just amazing. I am now seriously focusing on my dream,” Shufaa said.
Shufaa Changawa, 23, and Ismael Changawa, 20, walked away with US$1000 each in cash prizes.
In the the Women’s Wheelchair Singles’ final, Rehema Saidi Selememani of Tanzania beat Kenyan Jane Ndenga 7-6(4), 1-6, 7-6(1),while the Men’s title was claimed by Novatus Emmanuel Temba (Tanzania) after he defeated Collins Omondi (Kenya) 7-5, 4-6 and 10-4.
The U18 Boys Singles title was won by 17-year old Bertin Karenzi, who defeated 13-years old Joseph Cyiza 6-3, 6-0.
The 2017 Rwanda Open attracted 143 players from Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Belgium, Italy, Tanzania, Sweden, Nepal, DR Congo and the hosts Rwanda.
The President of the Kenya Table Tennis Federation, Andrew Mutibo, was on Wednesday elected a director on the board of the International Table Tennis Federation(ITTF). Mudibo who also heads 13 other African Countries was elected at the ITTF's annual general meeting held on the 31st of May in Desseldorf Germany.
The former coach to sisters Serena and Venus Williams is set to tour Kenya.
Kenya women's and Tanzania men's wheelchair tennis singles teams on Sunday respectively qualified for the Wheelchair Tennis World Cup scheduled for May in Italy during the PNB Paribus African World Team Qualifiers held in Nairobi.
Phoebe Masika won her match against Lucy Shirima 6-2, 6-3 whereas her counterpart Jane Ndenga beat her opponent, Rehema Selemani 7-5, 7-5 to book Kenya a ticket to the World Cup.
In the men's category, Kenya's Collins Omondi beat Tanzania's Juma Hamisi 6-2, 7-5 but Peter Munuve lost to Navatus Temba from Tanzania 0-6, 2-6.
This forced the quartet to play in the doubles to determine the men's slot, which was won by Tanzania 6-3, 6-1.
The eight teams that took part in the event are Cameroon, Egypt, the Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and Tanzania.
Seventh seed Richard Gasquet recorded his 20th match win of the season on Tuesday by beating Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in two hours and 12 minutes at The Championships. He will next play Marcel Granollers or Victor Estrella Burgos in the second round.
Kenya has won the team title of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and Confederation of African Tennis (CAT) 2016 Eastern African Junior Circuit. The tournament, which ended on Saturday at Nairobi Club, saw home players win three out of five final matches they played in to reclaim the overall team title from Burundi who finished in second, followed by Seychelles in the week-long event which attracted eight nations.