Mombasa tennis players enhance AAG qualification chances

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Jul 15, 2015
  • Ibrahim Kibet was one of the Mombasa players who won all his three maches on the second day of the All Africa Games Trials at Nairobi Club. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Evelyne Otula checked the dominance of Mombasa-based players by beating Shufaa Changawa the top seed at Nairobi Club. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Mombasa-based players recorded good results on the second day of the All Africa Games Trials at the Nairobi Club.

Shufaa Changawa, Ibrahim Kibet and Faiz Khan all enhanced their chances. Changawa, the top seed in the women's category hit at least five aces and committed fewer unforced errors on the red clay to beat the experienced Caroline Oduor on the first match of the day 6-4, 6-4.

But, Changawa lost 3-6, 7-6, 6-3 to Evelyn Otula. Against Oduor, Changawa who has been impressive since last year, started the match well and didn’t give her opponent time to dominate the game winning the first set in less than 45 minutes.

The script was the same in the second game despite Oduor getting a few aces and also capitalizing on some net serves from Changawa. Changawa was composed and won. “She is an experienced player and I had to be in my best form of mind to play him. I did exactly that and managed to win. I am happy with the result and I hope to win the remaining matches to advance,” Changawa said.

Changawa however found her match in Otula who dominated the match. “It was a tough match. But it’s good I am done with it and will now focus on the remaining two matches,” Changawa said. She had earlier beaten Paige Mbugua and Judy Nkatha.

Last match

Changawa is set to play Abigael Tate Harte in her last match where a win will guarantee her a place in the All Africa Games.

Another Mombasa-based player Ibrahim Kibet beat Allan Saha, Faiz Khan and Ronny Ndinya to claw his way closer to qualification. Kibet who had only played one tournament- Acacia Open in Tanzania ahead of the trials beat Saha 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 in the first match and edged out Khan 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.

Kibet blamed himself for stretching the match to three sets saying he always lost focus in the first set. “I kept on losing focus in the first set. But after that I started being more tactical by making him (Saha) move and mixing up the game. I tried to control the point. Making him play to my game. It was the same with Khan,” he explained.

Kibet ended the day with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Ndinya, which was a culmination of a tough opening two matches.

After losing two matches on the opening day, Khan came back strong on Tuesday and won two matches-putting his chances of a place in the team alive. Before falling to Kibet in his second match of the day, Khan had beaten Saha 6-1, 6-1.

“After my first two losses, I knew losing two matches I will be out of contention totally. And so I got to the court with achieving a win in my mind,” he said. He met Ndinya in his third match of the day where he registered a 6-3, 6-1 victory.

“Losing to Kibet was a sad one but I am happy I lifted myself up and I am happy it worked out for me,” Kibet added.

In other ladies matches, Judy Nkatha beat Mbugua 6-1, 7-6 while Oduor beat Otula 6-2, 3-6, 7-6.