The duo of Albert Njogu and Derrick Ominde eased into the quarter finals of the ongoing 10th edition of the Kenya International Junior tennis Championship after winning their third round matches yesterday at Nairobi Club.
Njogu, a beaten finalist in the second leg played last week, eased past Yabets Kebede of Ethiopia in sets of 6-3,6-0 to punch his way into the final eight while Ominde saw off Ghouse Faisal of Canada in sets of 6-1, 6-2.
Coming into the match against a familiar opponent, Njogu comfortably repulsed Kebede’s first half efforts which earned him three games before staging a spirited fight in the second set to bag the set without conceding a game.
Later in an interview, Njogu admitted that the match was tough as the Ethiopian was privy to his playing style and lauded his fighting spirit. He also expressed hopes of bringing to an end his junior title jinx, having reached the final in the last four events before ending in disappointment.
“It was a tough match as I have been training with him before and he understands how I play. He is a fighter and sort of forced me to be keen in every game especially in my returns. I am looking forward to reaching semis or finals and hopefully winning the singles title.”
Njogu is set to play Ally Shoker of Egypt who beat Jake Lam of Mauritius in sets of 6-0,6-2 in his third round match today in the quarters. On the other hand, Ominde observed that his Canadian opponent did not live up to his expectations as he had anticipated a tough match. The left handed player conceded two games in either sets but this could not stop him from making it to the last eight.
“ Contrary to my expectations, my opponent wasn’t strong as I had thought. I capitalised on his errors and broke his serves with ease. The win is welcome as I hope to the semis.”
Ominde will face the tournament’s top seed and Burundian Abdoul Shakur in the quarters. The Nairobi-based Shakur eliminated Guelfo Baldvinetti of Italy in sets of 6-1 and 6-2 in his third round match. It was double victory for Ominde as he teamed up with Connor Henry of Namibia to win their quarter finals of the doubles after beating the pair of Baldvinetti and Luca Fardelli both of Italy 6-4 and 7-6. Meanwhile the remaining Kenyan girl in the singles Angela Okutoyi will play Rakotomanga Rajaona of France in her quarter finals match today.