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Njogu battles hard to beat Briton in ongoing ITF East Africa event

Albert Njogu continued with his fine run yesterday when he downed Great Britain’s Matthis Ross 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-2 in the ITF East Africa Junior Championships at Nairobi Club. Njogu, who 24 hours earlier beat Turkish player Umit Cankus in straight sets gave another disciplined performance in the boys singles event. However his opponent was no walkover as he gave as much as he received in the mid-morning encounter.

In the opening set, Njogu and Matthis traded lovely shots in a frenetic show that dazzled the fans. The fourth seeded Kenyan starlet got off to a powerful start managing to force his challenger to fumble with a couple of shots.

Ross was, however, determined as he settled in with his precision with returns being the most telling. However some of Njogu’s serves especially from the backhands caused him as the Brit came and tied on game wins at 3-3.It had to take some patience and ruthless displays to close out a relentless Ross who was all-out to disappoint the home boy.

The energetic Njogu had twice to come back from behind to force a tie-break. The Brit challenger was constantly changing gears and exploiting the spaces more to find an advantage .The Kenyan went ahead to fish points off his forehand to claim set one.

Ross came through in the second set an animal reborn as he charged hard at his opponent in a bid to get back to the game. His service and movement on court was more calculated and composed. His direct play also made his opponent change tack.

After leading 3-0, he started playing safe even as Njogu looked for avenues to exert pressure. Despite Njogu coming in to tie, the European tour player forced errors off his opponent. Set number three which was the decider went to Njogu. He played smart to shut off his opponent and in the process dropping only two games.

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