RWANDA's top seed Jean Claude Gasigwa cruised to the second round of the ITF Men's Futures tournament which started yesterday with the main draw matches at Cercle Sportif courts in Rugunga.
Gasigwa, who suffered an exit in the first leg tournament held in Bujumbura, overwhelmed Italian and ATP ranked Francesco Vilardo to win in three sets 6-4, 1-6, 6-1.
The 29-year old won the first set but the Italian reiterated with a bang to tie on the second set, but Rwanda's main hope returned back with much vigour to take the third set to launch a good start to this year's edition.
Afterwards he told Times Sport, "It was a tough match but I am happy to have won. Having done so badly in Burundi last week, I need to come into the home leg much focused and I hope I will carry my good performance in the second round," he said.
The Nyarutarama club player takes on another Italian born player Picco Francesco, who is ranked 803 on the ATP and seeded seventh in the second round match today. Picco defeated Zimbabwe's representative Fynn Mark 6-3, 7-5.
Gasigwa is looking to match Eric Hagenimana's quarter-final appearance back in 2006. Hagenimana, who is now based in the US, defied the odds as he reached the last eight only to lose to France's Maxime Bonami 6-2, 5-7, 4-6.
So far, Gasigwa has made a great stride from last year's tournament where he never went past the first round, losing to Ross-Hurt Dominic of Great Britain 3-6 5-7.
"Everything is possible. I will go into the second round match with a confident mind. I am ready to play and enjoy my good tennis, I have nothing to fear or lose at this stage," added Gasigwa.
Team mate and Rwanda's seed two Dieudonne Habiyambere suffered another disappointing first round exit after losing in straight sets 6-2, 6-3 to Russian Alexander Igoshin, who is ranked 1560 in the world.
Another home boy Olivier Nkunda was due to face Italian Luca Pancaldi, who is ranked 1510 on ATP by press time.
The second leg (Rwanda F1 Futures) is slated to end on Sunday and it will be followed with the third leg from November 26 - December 2.
Ryan Chow (Can) def. O. Havugimana (Rwa) 6-3 6-4
J. Gasigwa (Rwa) def. Francesco Vilardo (Ita) 6-4 1-6 6-1
K. Sharma (Ind) def. Christian Magg (Aus) 6-2 6-2
Completo Artur (Por) def. Dzhanashia Shalva (Rus) 6-4 6-1
Picco Francesco (Ita) def. Fynn Mark (Zim) 6-3 7-5
H. Ndayishimiye (Bur) def. Salazar Martin (Spa) 6-1 6-3
Alexander Igoshin (Rus) def. D. Habiyambere (Rwa) 6-2 6-3