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Kenyans register mixed fortunes in Rwanda

Kenyan players registered mixed performances on the second day of the fourth edition of Rwanda Tennis Open Championships in Kigali yesterday. Top seed Shufaa Changawa easily brushed aside her Swedish opponent Sarah Haglund in straight sets of 6-0, 6-0, the match that was completed in under an hour demonstrating the gulf in class between the two players.

Changawa, 22, who is a multiple Kenya Open champion went about his business in commanding fashion and hardly broke a sweat in the lopsided encounter. The European junior tour player seemed rattled straight from game one as she attempted to play her opponent’s pattern which flopped.

Changawa’s experience held as she offered variance in movement and service thus crippling Haglund’s sloppy shots. Her strong backhands were the difference with the Swedish struggling to cope.

To her credit albeit in short intervals, Haglund distributed her balls elegantly across the court but the endless attacking strategy of Changawa was too hard to deal with. Meanwhile, sixth seed Kevin Cheruiyot had a torrid afternoon after going down to Rwandese Mubarak Harerimana 4-6, 6-3, 1-6.

It was a poor show even by his standards as the Cercle Sportiff Club player constantly bullied his Kenyan opponent. The three-set match seemed to have a toll on Cheruiyot who appeared to be struggling for rhythm against the hard-hitting Mubarak. In the opening set, Cheruiyot led by two quick games after forcing his opponent to errors especially at the net with his trick volleys.

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