Voice of Sport

Cheruiyot, Shufaa battle well in Brazzaville; aim for better in Lusaka 2019, says Mutuku

In Maputo (2011), only one player made it to the second round and the manager says they brought a young team to Brazzaville with an eye for the future


KEVIN Cheruiyot and Shufaa Changawa did relatively well in the tennis competition at the African Games in Brazzaville. They both went out in the third round with Cheruiyot the unlucky one not to have gone through to the quarter finals.

Cheruiyot in fact had a match point before going out to home player Yvan Mamata in a stormy match. “The circumstances of the match quite unsettled Kevin before a loud local support for home favourite,” said coach Rose Mary Owino.

Hold-up

She said the Congolese tactics included holding the match up for several minutes each of several times “for injury attention, genuine or false and it broke Kevin’s rhythm.”

The coach said it was heart breaking for Cheruiyot not to proceed. “It would have been momentous. Kevin was improving with each match and I believe he would have had an even better in fourth round.”

Shufaa, after commanding two rounds fell to Melisa Ifidzen of Nigeria. Team manager Francis Mutuku said the Kenya Lawn Tennis Association would be satisfied with Kenya’s performance.

Young team

“In Maputo (2011), only one player made it to the second round. We brought a young team here with an eye for the 2019 Games [in Lusaka, Zambia)”. Faiz Mohammed Khan also made it to round two, falling to Ahmed Mounir of Egypt 2-6, 2-6.

Kenya’s best player, Juma Changawa Ruwa, a student in the United States and who won the Kenya Open a few days before the team left Nairobi for Congo was unavailable for the African Games.

“I believe we would have had a good chance of a medal in the men’s singles had Juma been here,” said coach Owino.

Team Kenya Tennis results:

Women:

Shufaa Changawa Ruwa:

1/62: Won v Phatshimo Ruele (Botswana) 6-3, 6-2

2/32: Won v Pauline Chawafambira, Seed 7 (Zimbabwe) 6-1, 6-0

3/16: Lost to Melissa Ifidzen (Nigeria) 2-6, 2-6

Judy Nkatha:

1/64: Won v Jessica Riedel (Namibia) 6-4, 6-2

2/32: Lost to Sandra Samir (Egypt) 0-6, 2-6

Paige Mbugua:

1/64: Lost to Nana Sifa (DR Congo) 4-6, (2)6-7

Caroline Oduor:

1/64: Bye

2/32: Lost to Annabelle Ossombi (Congo) 2-6, 2-6

MEN:

Kevin Cheruiyot:

1/64: Won v Bruce Longani Gama (Swaziland) 6-0, 6-0

2/32: Won v Yannick Raymond Languina (Senegal) 6-4, 6-2

3/16: Lost Yvan Pavel Mamata (Congo)

Faiz Mohammed Khan:

1/64: Won v Jean Paul Kandangah Kile (Togo) 6-1, 6-1

2/32: lost to Ahmed Mounir, Seed 14 (Egypt) 2-6, 2-6

Robert Kibet:

1/62: Lost to Sarma Nkulufa (DR Congo) 3-6, 4-6

Sheil Ajay Kotecha:

1/64: Lost to Mohammed Moussa (Egypt 1-6, 4-6

Assistant coach – Peter Wachira

Head Coach – Rose Mary Owino

Team manager – Francis Mutuku