Kenyans posted mixed results in the first round of Nairobi Open Wheelchair Tennis tour tournament at Nairobi Club yesterday. Three of the six home players secured slots in the second round while the others bade farewell to the tournament at the first hurdle.
Experienced Collins Omondi was the biggest causality as he lost 7-5, 6-3 to Said Himam of Morocco to crash out. Mondi, who tutors young players was on the receiving end of the Moroccan player’s wrath.
Himam broke the home player’s resistance in the opening set to force a win after tying 5-5. Himam had a smoother ride in the second set, conceding just three games to win the contest. Omondi praised his opponent while blaming the loss on his poor positioning.
He said: “He was strong and his positioning was good throughout the game. The first set was a balanced one. I gave my best until the tie break where I lost focus at a very crucial stage. His serves were strong in the second set and I made mistakes in positioning myself while receiving the serves. It’s unfortunate I have lost my first match but I will work on how to monitor my opponents’ positioning in the future. I want to be keen on my returns which I returned directly to him instead of placing them far from reach.”
In other results, Kenyan duo of Peter Munuve and Rajab Athman beat Tanzanians Voster Lengonela 6-3, 6-2 and Bernard Namasapani 6-1,6-2 respectively to sail to the second round. Asiya Sururu registered a 6-1,6-3 over Tanzania’s Scholastica Nchinga in the ladies’ category.
Shaban Matano and Itakeo Kipellian joined Omondi in the weeping corner after losing to Mohammed Alliene of Great Britain and Emmanuel Temba of Tanzania respectively. Matano fell 6-1,6-7,6-3 to the Briton while Kipellian succumbed to Temba in identical scores of 6-2,6-2. The tournament winner will bag Sh300 000.