Barry Silah @obel_barry
Albert Njogu yesterday beat Umit Cankus of Turkey 6-1, 6-3 to enter the fourth round of the ITF East Africa Junior Circuit at Nairobi Club. The win was a reprieve for hosts Kenya who once again struggled to create an impression on day three of action.
Fourth seed Njogu who reached the quarter finals in a similar tournament last week was a different breed of player on court as he capitalized on Cankus errors with ruthless efficiency. In the first set, the Kenyan starlet came all guns blazing as he sought to put his opponent on the back foot.
His discipline especially on return serve was excellent as he ran the breath and length of the court converting winners. He only dropped one game in the process as he expertly took control of proceedings.
Njogu’s challenger incidentally never quite put pressure thus enabling the home boy to carry out his job easy. However, on the second set, the Kenyan lad had to be extra careful particularly because Cankus awoke and begun playing with renewed purpose.
His forehands were a delight to catch as he constantly prodded for spaces to bury points. However a hawk-eyed Njogu played smart and defended his gap well enough. His backhand winners gave him the edge after passing the score of 3-1 to 4-2 in frenetic fashion.
Cankus double faulted at the latter stage to give Njogu an opportunity to attack with neat slices that wowed the crowd. Meanwhile, the downward trend in the singles matches continued to confound pundits as another three players fell along the way. The biggest casualty was recent semi-finalist Ryan Randiek who fell to USA player Sanjith Devineni 7-6(8), 7-5 in an epic match.