Nairobi — Kenya’s top tennis player Roselinda Asumwa says she has developed nerves of steel ever since her last competition and is no longer scared of facing the who-is-who in the sport.
The former International Tennis Federation (ITF) Under 18 doubles champion produced a virtuoso performance to defeat Australian Nessa Pratt 6-4, 6-2 in her first match of the World Tennis Tour at Karen Country Club on Tuesday evening.
The youngster said she is improving with every competition and has developed an aggressive and fearless side to her game.
“First time I played; I wasn’t really playing well. I have learnt to become mentally strong as time goes by. Previously, mentally, I used to be like ‘these opponents are too strong, I cannot beat them.’ However, this time I tried my best and I am glad that I won,” Asumwa said.
As she basked in the glory of her victory, however, the youngster admits there is still room for improvement in her game as she seeks more competition chances to boost her ITF rankings.
“I think I need to work on my second serve and also on my spin forehand. It’s something I noted was a weakness of mine and I want to improve on it. Also, the opponent left me breathless… making me run all over the court, which made me lose breath. All in all, I am delighted to have gotten over the match and I now look forward to the next,” Asumwa, twin sister of Wimbledon Open Junior doubles champion Angela Okutoyi, said.
Asumwa added: “My strategy was my first serve and opening the court so I could make a win on the open court. I’d like to encourage all our fans to continue supporting us because there is more to come from this competition.”
In an earlier match of the day, Kenya’s Stacy Chepkemei lost to Italian Linda Salvi 6-0 6-0 in a tie held at the same venue.
Montenegro’s Magdalena Stoilkovska defeated India’s Lakshmi Gowda 6-0, 6-4 as Romania’s Alexandra Iordache beat another Indian, Smriti Bhasin 6-3, 6-1.
Nigerian Sarah Adegoke defeated Polish Natalia Kowalczyk 6-1, 6-2 whereas German Emily Seibold beat Israeli Adi Bitton 6-1, 6-4.
The tournament continues tomorrow with Okutoyi expected to be in action against India’s Sharanya Shetty.