Rwanda's tennis ace Jean Claude Gasigwa bounced back from a dismal display in last week's Burundi F1 Futures with a strong first round performance in the first leg of the ITF Rwanda F1 Futures yesterday at Cercle Sportif.
Buoyed on by the home crowd, the country's top seed kicked off the singles action with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 victory over a struggling Francesco Vilardo.
Gasigwa claimed the opening set but the Italian, who was struggling with pain in his right hip, hit back when the former's level dropped in the second set (6-1) to take the tie into a decider.
The 29-year-old then finished off the job with a clinical 6-1 victory.
Next up for Gasigwa is another Italian Francesco Picco, who defeated Zimbabwe's Mark Fynn 6-3, 7-5 in the first round.
However, it was not to be in the doubles as Gasigwa and his Ugandan partner David Oringa lost 2-6, 1-6 against Jordi Munoz-Abreu and Jose Anton Martin Salazar.
In other singles' fixtures, Dieudonne Habiyambere was no match for Russia's Alexander Igoshin after losing 2-6, 3-6.
The tournament top seed and last year's defending champion Gerard Melzer opens his title defence this morning against Netherlands' Jan-Wouter Roep.
Rwanda F1 Futures (1st leg)
Selected First round results
J.C Gasigwa (Rwanda) | 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 F. Vilardo (Italy)
K. Sharma (India) | 2-6, 1-6 C. Magg (Australia)
D. Habiyambere (Rwanda) | 2-6, 3-6 A. Igoshin (Russia)