Kenya open finalist, Mugabe disqualified for misconduct

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Jun 24, 2016
  • Duncan Mugabe was disqualified for misconduct..(Photo:SNA File)

  • Shufaa Changawa will face Stephanie Mbaya in the ladies final.(Photo:SNA File)

Due to some unfortunate events that unraveled at one of the Britam Kenya Open men’s doubles matches today (Friday) one of the men’s finalists has been disqualified from the event entirely due to misconduct of a violent nature.

Having earlier won his semifinal match against Kenya’s Kevin Cheruiyot and Ugandan Duncan Mugabe was involved in an altercation with members of a partisan crowd that was supporting a different opposition in an afternoon doubles match.

Immediately after the match, Mugabe and his partner Simon Ayella appeared to be involved in a violent altercation with a few members in the crowd leaving the Tournament Referee with no option than to kick them out of the Kenya Open.

Other players who were also involved in the melee have also been excluded from further participation.

Acts of violence, either on court or in the tournament vicinity cannot be tolerated and thus the said parties have been eliminated from further proceeding in this prestigious event.

This means that sadly, there won’t be a men’s singles final on the last day of the 2016 event.

Other matches are however scheduled to go on as usual with the ladie’s final servin off Saturday’s events at 10 a.m. where top seed Shufaa Changawa faces number two Stephanie Mbaya in the show piece final.

The men’s doubles final will also be held later in the afternoon.

Scintillating action

Dipping Nairobi temperatures brought out some scintillating action on the penultimate day as contenders battled it out to qualify for the championship rounds.

The day started with the men’s and women’s semifinals where Kenya was more than ably represented with three quarters of the singles’ contenders being home players.

Top men’s seed, Ismael Mzai was first up on Court 7, looking to make his third Kenya Open final in a row. His match was against close friend and doubles partner Ibrahim Kibet Yego who had dumped out third seed David Oringa from Uganda in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

The opening set was even as fifth seed Yego matched Mzai’s game for game before the number one player pulled away to win the first set 6-3. The second set was a one way traffic as Mzai accomplished his feat by reaching his third final.

A 6-3, 6-0 domination of Yego completed the rout.

On the adjacent court, second seeded Ugandan Duncan Mugabe, back at the Kenya Open after a year’s absence was in imperious form against fourth seed and perennial slow starter Kevin Cheruiyot.

Mugabe breezed through the opening set without much trouble before Cheruiyot could react. At 6-1, the Ugandan looked primed for the kill but knowing Cheruiyot, a better second set performance would definitely materialize.

A better performance from the Kenyan did come but the punches landed in the first set by Mugabe were telling as he held firm to win 6-1, 6-3.

Mugabe was due to face Mzai in Saturday’s final before the Ugandan was ejected. In 2014, Mzai convincingly beat Mugabe in the final.

Surprise package

Womens to seed and Mombasa resident, Shufaa Changawa was looking to avoid embarrassment when she faced this year’s surprise package Angella Okutoyi.

At only 12, Okutoyi has made a terrific run in her maiden Kenya Open beating more experienced players, some twice her age along the way.

In their semis match, experience shone through as Changawa raced to an opening set, 5-2 lead before her much younger opponent pegged her back to win two consecutive games to make it a tight first set.

Changawa prevailed to go into the set break 6-4. Okutoyi showed the class that had gotten her to the last four but this time Changawa’s experience was too much for the debutant as the former champion won 6-4, 6-3.

The form book was followed on the women’s side as well, as the top two seeds made tomorrow’s final.

At the bottom of the draw, second seed Stephanie Mbaya looked to halt the advance of the dark horse and a first time visitor to Kenya, Congo’s Nancy Allyson Onya.

A tightly contested first set went Mbaya’s way, 7-5 before the Congolese national complained of back problems at 2-0 down in the second set.

A medical time out didn’t slow Mbaya’s advance as she put the death knell on Onya’s title chances on her first trip to Kenya with a final 7-5, 6-2 result.

Selected results

Ladies Singles Semifinals: Shufaa Changawa beat Angella Okutoyi 6-4 6-3, Stephanie Mbaya beat Nancy Allyson Onya 7-5 6-2; Ismael Mzai beat Ibrahim Kibet Yego 6-3 6-0, Duncan Mugabe beat Kevin Cheruiyot 6-1 6-3.

By James Rogoi