Barry Silah @obel_barry
Kenyan juniors strode into next rounds of three different categories in the ongoing SGA Kenya Junior Open tournament at the Nairobi Club. Derrick Ominde, who is a national junior representative, led the charge when he downed Maxwell Kombo in straight sets of 6-2, 6-1 in the boys’ 16 and Under category.
Ominde, who is seeded first in the competition used his good running and hard hitting to see off his Ugandan challenger in just under an hour, dropping only three games.
Kombo gave a good fight in a delayed start following several interruptions occasioned by the morning rains but fell short owing to a couple of unforced errors. His service timing let him down while the surface seemed to affect his movement.
Ominde on the other hand took charge of proceedings in emphatic style, churning out three straight wins inside the opening set. His backhand returns were magnificent as he toyed around with his opponent while gaining points on the go.
The young Ugandan came close to turning the tide in the opening set but Ominde held on with good defending. In the boys’ 12 and Under event, Raymond Riziki beat seventh seed Jacob Njunge 6-2, 6-2 in a display of great tennis from the young starlet. His solid service from the forehand ensured he snatched good points even as he covered his court side well.
Riziki’s accuracy forced Njunge to contend with wide shots to try and complicate his strategy. The opening set saw the two players trade good shots and decent rallies with Njunge only broken twice by Riziki who is more experienced on the clay surface.
Even though 11-year-old Njunge lost, he gave his opponent a lot of tough moments with sublime confidence on the racket and steady hits on the serve. Meanwhile in the girls’ 12 and Under match at Center Court, Cynthia Cheruto trounced her challenger Nasha Jaffer in straight sets of 6-0, 6-0.