12 December 2017

Kenyan Players Ease Into Quarters of Karen Open

Top seed Duncan Mugabe of Uganda on Tuesday led other big guns in qualifying for the quarterfinals of the Karen Open Tennis Championship been staged at the Karen Country Club.

Mugabe, the Kenya Open Champion, was joined in the last eight by the country's top seeded player Ismail Changawa, Kevin Cheruiyot, Sheil Kotecha and Ibrahim Kibet Yego.

In the women's contest, Kenya's Shufaa Changawa led compatriots Sneha Kotecha, Judith Nkatha and Angela Okutoyi into the last eight of the competition.

Mugabe made light work of Victor Sampras of Madagascar winning 6-0, 6-1 in their second round singles match. The Ugandan, who saw off Kenya's Rueben Njuguna in the first round, won the tie in 62 minutes.

He will take on Kevin Cheruiyot in Wednesday's quarter-final in what should be a cracking tie and the Ugandan is relishing the contest.

"We have played a couple of times and he is fighter so I expect a very tough battle but I am optimistic of going through," Mugabe said.

Cheruiyot booked his last eight slot after powering past compatriot Paul Mcellan 6-2, 6-4 in their second round encounter.

And the Kenyan has warned Mugabe to expect a bruising battle.

"He beat me the last time we met in the Kenyan Open two years ago and I believe it is time to exact revenge which would give me a boost in the competition," Cheruiyot said.

Second seed Ismail will face another Ugandan Simon Ayellla for a place in the last four of the competition. The US-based Ismail beat Cameroon's Paul Brunel Wamba 6-2, 6-1, as Ayallla came through a three set thriller against Olivier Havugimana of Rwanda, winning 6-7(9), 7-5, 6-3.

Sheik Kotecha will be up against Burundi's Abdoul Shakur Kaburam, while Ibrahim Kibet faces David Oringa in another Kenya versus Uganda tie.

In the women's matches, top seed Shufaa beat Uganda's Margaret Nantongo 6-1, 6-0 in their second round encounter to book a last eight encounter with sixth seed Narindara Corrine Ranaivo of Madagascar.

The island player saw off Kenya's Roselinda Asumwa 6-0, 6-2. Kenya's Judith Nkatha faces a tough quarter-final clash against second seed Celestine Avomo of Gabon as Sneha Kotecha braces for a clash with number eight seed Hoziane Kitambala of Burundi.

Okutoyi will also take on another Burundian Aisha Niyonkuru for a place in the semi-finals.

The week-long competition has attracted players from over 20 countries with the winners walking away with Sh90,000.

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