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SPORTS

TENNIS: Ismael, Shufaa storm to tennis quarters

TENNIS By Elizabeth Mburugu | November 9th 2016
Kenya's Shufaa Changawa in Womens Singles during the 14th African Nations Cup at Nairobi Club on Nov 8, 2016. [PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD]

The two excelled in their respective men and women’s matches to book their places in the last eight. Fast rising Sheil Kotecha also secured a place in the quarters whereas Kevin Cheruiyot and Petty Andanda lost their ties to bow out of the continental show.

Shufaa seeded sixth in the tournament was near perfect as she dominated Ivory Coast’s Adomon Marie-Ange winning one game after the other to settle for a straight sets victory. The home girl was undoubtedly stronger as she outclassed her West African guest to grab the first set 6-2.

The second set was one-sided as Adomon seemed to have resigned to her fate allowing Shufaa to ease to a 6-1 win and with it came her quarter-finals slot.

Brimming with confidence, Shufaa who is certainly Kenya’s current number one female player, said that she had prepared well and was confident of posting positive results.

“I have trained hard for this event and I believe that it was not in vain. I intend to give it my best, play every match as if it is the final,” Shufaa said.

Today, Shufaa will take on top seed Chiraz Bechri of Tunisia in one of the quarter-final matches. Chiraz made work easy of Marieta Ntamitambo of Mozambique winning 6-1 6-0. Kenya’s unseeded Paige Mbugua could not stand up to tournament seed five Liyla Hadab of Morocco and crumbled down easily 6-1, 6-1. With her victory Hadab booked a date with Gabon’s Celestine Ella Avomo ranked fourth who had earlier on beaten Tunisia’s Ferdaous Bahri 6-4, 6-2.

Another Kenyan Faith Nyabera was also unlucky as she could not match Morocco’s and tournament second seed Rita Atik. Nyabera failed to shine on home soil as her guest effortlessly secured a 6-0, 6-2 conquest.

In the men’s singles Ismael labored to a 6-3 7-6 (5) win over Congo’s Ivan Mamata. After securing the first set 6-3 Ismael was forced to up his game against stubborn Mamata who was not willing to go down without a fight. He fought to win on tie-break and secure a spot in the last eight.

Ranked sixth today he will face an acid test in the hands of top seeded Amine Ahouda of Morocco. Ahouda dismissed Congo’s Sarma Nkulufa 6-1, 6-0 in his round of 16 tie.

Kotecha who together with Ismael shoulder the country’s hopes in the men’s contest send packing Christian Saidi of the Democratic Republic of Congo 6-0, 6-2. Unranked Kotecha had caused a major upset by humbling ranked Abdoul Karim Ouattara of Ivory Coast 3-6, 7-6(12), 6-1 in his event opener.

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