Kenya’s Ismael Changawa Mzai and Shufaa Changawa dominated this year’s Rwanda Tennis Open, winning the Men and Women’s Singles titles on Saturday at Amahoro National Stadium courts.
The Mombasa natives defeated Ugandan Duncan Mugabe and Burundian Aisha Niyonkuru respectively in the final.
In the men’s title match, Changawa Nzai beat Mugabe in straight sets 6-2, 7-5 for a fourth consecutive victory against the 26-year-old Ugandan top seed. His elder sister Shufaa overcame Niyonkuru in three sets 2-6, 6-2, 7-5.
“It is an honour to be in Rwanda and compete with great players. I came here to win and I am thankful that I won the tournament and to make it even more satisfying is that my sister won the women’s title. Our parents are celebrating now,” Ismael Changawa said.
He noted that, “Our aim is to keep developing and become better players not only in our region but across Africa.”
In the women’s category, Shufaa lost the first set 6-2 before recovering to win the second 6-2 and then the third.
“Last year, I lost in the final but today I wanted to show that I am capable of beating a very good player like Aisha. To come from a set down and win the title and my brother winning the men’s tournament is just amazing. I am now seriously focusing on my dream,” Shufaa said.
Shufaa Changawa, 23, and Ismael Changawa, 20, walked away with US$1000 each in cash prizes.
In the the Women’s Wheelchair Singles’ final, Rehema Saidi Selememani of Tanzania beat Kenyan Jane Ndenga 7-6(4), 1-6, 7-6(1),while the Men’s title was claimed by Novatus Emmanuel Temba (Tanzania) after he defeated Collins Omondi (Kenya) 7-5, 4-6 and 10-4.
The U18 Boys Singles title was won by 17-year old Bertin Karenzi, who defated 13-years old Joseph Cyiza 6-3, 6-0.
The 2017 Rwanda Open attracted 143 players from Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Belgium, Italy, Tanzania, Sweden, Nepal, DR Congo and the hosts Rwanda.