Kenya’s Albert Njogu fell 6-3,3-6-4,6-4 against Burundian Abdul Shakour Kabura in the quarter finals of the ITF East Africa under 18 Juniors Circuit at Nairobi Club yesterday. Despite the loss, the local starlet gave a good account of himself on the court against a player he has faced on several ocassions in recent times.
His ferocious serve was always something to behold as on many occasions he caught the East Africa Centre player on the back foot. In the first set, the two players traded exciting shots across the net with minimal fuss as each individual deployed their best skills. Njogu had taken a dutiful 2-0 game lead courtesy of rare double fault by Kabura on the return serve.
However, the Burundi challenger was a quality opponent as he recovered to fight back. Njogu had to dig deep in the second set when he pinned his opponent on the baseline with his volleys.
His backhands especially were the masterstroke as they seemed to unsettle Kabura most of the time as he fell 4-0 in just half-an-hour. However the Burundian fourth seed threatened a coup of sorts as he came back to even scores as his patience play won him important points on the go.
A confident Njogu however combined winners off his forehand and pushed his opponent to err on the returns thus closing him the second set to forcing a tie of 3-6. The decider set however was tight and feisty as both players battled to get the pass to the prestigious semi-final stages in the points ranking event.
Njogu was more calculative as his opponent threw in everything with aggression with the court crowd enjoying the battle under good weather. It was down to unforced errors, which snatched Njogu, the victory.
Meanwhile, Kenya’s Sneha Kotecha partnering Elena Gemovic of Serbia fought gallantly in the Girls doubles semi-finals but lost to Metka Komac (Slovenia) and Paula Onita (Romania) 6-3,6-4.