Kenyan juniors take overall title at regional championship

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.

Source: Daily Nation 

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.

Albert Njogu, Alicia Owegi and Ryan Randiek won their respective final matches, while Sneha Kotecha and Kael Shah lost their final matches. Fourth seed Njogu cruised to a 6-0 win in the first set of boys’ 16 and under final against Burundian second seed Abdoulshakur Kabura before the latter retired in the second set with knee injury as Njogu led 3-0. 

“I did not want it to end like this, but he seemed like in a lot of pain and could not continue. I dominated from the opening set and I hope this win will mark the start of a good year for me,” a delighted Njogu said on Saturday. 

Owegi was in bullish form, beating Maysoon Adam 6-4, 6-4 to lift the girls’ 12 and under title in a final that lasted one and a half hours on centre court. 

Owegi raced to a 4-1 lead in the opening set before Adama rallied back to level it a 4-4 before the Kenyan hit four aces and saved three match points to take the first set. The second set was largely comfortable for Owegi, Adam undone by a number of faults. The last final on centre court saw Randiek win a nail biting final against Seychelles’ Damien Laporte in the boys’ 14 and under final. 

Randiek won 6-3, 6-7, 6-0 to give Kenya her third singles title. It was however heartbreak for Kotecha and Shah in their respective finals. High-flying Kotecha lost 6-4, 1-6, 5-6 to Burundi’s Aisha Niyonkuru in the girls’ 14 and under final

Shah, the top seed in boys’ 12 and under category, went down 1-6, 1-6 to Ethiopia’s Obssa Gemeda Olana in the final. Burundi’s top seed Sada Nahimana won girls’ 16 and under final after beating her compatriot Mwamini Bitungwa in the final. 

The top five players in boys’ and girls’ under 16 and 14 categories will qualify for the Africa Junior Championship set for March in South Africa.

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