Kenyans advance: Njogu, Changawa to battle it out in an all Kenyan semi-final clash
3 months ago, 21 Sep 08:54
Kenyans Albert Njogu and Ismael Changawa will battle it today in the Britam Kenya Open semi finals after the duo won their respective quarter-final matches yesterday at Nairobi Club.
The on-form players had easy wins on the courts with Njogu defying all odds to dump out Ugandan Boris Aguma 6-1, 6-1 and Changawa humiliating Burundian Cuma Issa 6-2,6-2 to set an all Kenyan affair in semi-final hence guaranteeing the country a place in the final.
Njogu, a form three student at Mbagathi Secondary School, has had an incredible run in the tournament where he has conceded a paltry three games in the three matches played. However, his form faces a real test from the tournament’s top seed and the country’s best player who has had an easy rise to the semis.
Despite coming to the match as an underdog, Njogu has promised to upset the form book and achieve his final dream. “I am aware that odds are stacked heavily in his favour but I am determined to upset him and sail to the final. He is an experienced player and a role model to many upcoming players but I will face him like any other player. I have never played him before in any competitive but I can promise him that it will not be business as usual in our first meeting.”
Changawa, on the other hand, said he will not underrate the 17-year-old as he harbours the capacity to pipe his dream of reclaiming the title he last toasted in 2016.
He said: “I can’t underrate him or face him with the mind set that I am playing a junior player. He has deservedly reached this far and I am sure it will not be easy. Nonetheless, I am ready for him.”
In other quarter final matches played, second seed Ibrahim Kibet ejected Tanzanian Frank Menard 6-3, 6-3 to book a place in the semis. Menard bade the tournament farewell after struggling to handle the might serves and returns in either sets from the huge home player.
As the three home players cruised to the final four, Petty Andanda could not match the prowess of Burundian Abdoul Shakur, who won 6-1, 6-3. Andanda lost to the reigning Kigali and Nairobi International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior champion but the Nairobi-based Burundian will have his title winning credentials severely tested by Kibet in the semis.
The girls’ action is expected to resume today after a day of rest with Shufaa Changawa lined up to play unpredictable Madagascan Narindra Ranaivo in the first semi final. It will be a purely Kenyan affair in the second semi final as Angela Okutoyi is bound to confront Alicia Owegi.
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