Oduor leads qualifiers into Kenya Open quarters

Mar 14, 2012
  • Ibrahim Kibet beat fellow Kenyan, Allan Otola of 6-1,7-6(3). (Photo:File)

Kenyan players won six out of 16 first round men’s singles matches club to advance to the quarterfinals on the first day of the Real Insurance Kenya open senior championship Wednesday at the Nairobi Club.

Brothers Juma Changawa and Faizal Khan won their openers with theMombasa based players inflicting a 6-2,6-2 and 6-1,6-1 over Tanzanians Seif Sarehe and Kipingu Kiango respectively.

Kennedy Oduor, Ibrahim Kibet and Kevin Cheruiyot also advanced to the quarters. Oduor beat Daniel Moore of the USA in straight sets of 6-2,6-0 while Kibet got an easy win over fellow Kenyan, Allan Otola of 6-1,7-6(3).

Cheruiyot however did not get it easy against a fellow countryman, Richard Ndesandjo who fumbled in the first tie break after a 7-6 set first set, before surrendering in the second set 6-2.

“This is a good start for Kenya, we expect to see two or more players in the semis considering that they are playing top seeded players,” said Patrick Kamwahe, the tournament referee.

In the women’s singles Caroline Oduor and Veronica Osogo also won their respective matches. Oduor was the first female player to qualify to the quarters with a 6-0,6-1 over Faith Thiongo. Osogo on the other hand beat Kataraina Karanja 6-1,6-2 to progress to the next stage.

It is just the first day and the competition is getting more interesting for fans, but even tougher to participants who are posting mixed results.

Top seed Duncan Mugabe made known his intention of retaining the title for the third year running well in advance after the 21 year old who trains at the Lugogo tennis, Kampala club in a hard fought 7-6(3),7-5 win over Burundian Idrisa Ndayisenga .

The biggest upset however came in the match pitting neighbours, Rwanda and Burundi where third seed Diedonne Habiyambere (Rwanda) who won the ITF Money Circuit last year fell to a lowly ranked, Amadi Kagoma of Burundi.

Kagoma took advantage of the Nairobi club murram court which he is used to playing on when he registered a 7-6(4), 6-3 set in the first round match knocking out the Rwandan player to the surprise of a relatively large number of fans led by Real Insurance head of Marketing Alex Mbugua who watched the proceedings from the stands.

Mugabe is expected to make it to the semis Friday when he meets lowly ranked Brian Malaya from Tanzania in the quarters on Thursday.

Changawa who has promised to put a spirited fight against the defending champ if they are paired will have to hold his horses a little longer but the Mombasa Sports club based player will battle it out with Edgar Kazembe of Zimbabwe on Thursday in the battle for the semi final berth.

Cheruiyot will play Mathieu Uwizeimana(Rwanda) as Kibet takes on Issa Cuma of Burundi while Kagoam will be up against Tanzanian Rajab Waziri. The matches continues Thursday when the veteran and the wheelchair category are expected to kick off.



Elvince Joshua

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