The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Impressive Start Habiyambere At ITF Junior Circuit

Upcoming player Ernest Habiyambere marched into the second round of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) East African Junior Circuit on Monday at the Nairobi Club.

Habiyambere, 16, beat Kenyan Olivier Kagotho on the second day 6-1 6-1 in the boys' singles category. Habiyambere, who is qualified for the Africa junior championship, is using the tournament as a warm-up ahead of the continental meet scheduled for March in Kenya.

Another Rwandan, Oliver Havugimana, also reached the next round after beating Croatia's Pejic Antonio 7-6 [2] 6-2. Most Kenyan players at this tournament found the going tough on the second day.

Lonah Bhwenje saw her way out of the tournament, losing 0-6, 0-6 against India's Nidhi Surapaneni, while Gloria Chelagat conceded a 1-6, 1-6 defeat at the hands of Emmanuelle de Beer of Mauritius.

In another match, Robert Nzuki lost his opening match against Thibault Saive of Belgium going down in straight sets of 6-0, 6-1.

Elsewhere, Konstantin Isachenko of Russia beat Omari Kasalo of Burundi 6-3, 6-2 while Geoffrey Blancaneaux of France won his match after he beat Italian Ferruccio Cuomo in straight sets of 6-2, 6-2

The tournament is an ITF ranking event and has attracted participants from 34 countries. It has seen foreigners take the driver's seat giving the locals little chance.

Most players from East African countries are unable to challenge highly-ranked and global-trotting stars from America, Europe and Asia in the event that has ITF ranking points.

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