Barry Silah @obel_barry
Kenyan players continued with their impressive run in the ongoing Davis Cup Africa Zone Group 3 after posting a 3-0 victory over Mozambique at Nairobi Club yesterday.
In the first match, Ibrahim Kibet proved too powerful for youngster Bruno Nhavene, downing the Mozambican in straight sets of 6-2, 6-2. Kibet’s big serve and solid backhand returns were enough to give him breathing space in a match that was played under an hour.
The 16-year-old Nhavene had difficulty moving around the court thus complicating his own strategy. Inside the opening set, Kibet dropped only four games as he tormented his challenger with a mixture of slices and bounces. He led 3-0 in a frenetic 18 minutes as an out of sorts Nhavene tried to settle in.
Nhavene was easily broken during serve and it got worse when his attempted returns went wide thus dropping crucial points. His stay in the baseline also made it easy for Kibet to prod the spaces conveniently. In the second set, the same story unfolded with the Mozambican struggled with Kibet putting in difficult balls.
“I felt comfortable and took my chances well when I spotted an opportunity. My opponent struggled with my balls and I took full advantage,” said an elated Kibet after the match.
In the second match between Kenyan top seed Ismael Changawa and his Mozambican challenger Franco Mata, the story was almost similar albeit with some interesting twist in the second set, as the former won his match 6-1, 6-4.
Changawa was in cruise mode during the opening set as he pummeled his opponent from all corners.In the second set, however, Mata came alive twice breaking his opponent and leading 3-1 as Changawa made a flurry of errors with his serve. The US-based veteran pressed Changawa into uncomfortable positions but could not defend his lead.
Meanwhile in the doubles meet, Kenyan duo Sheil Kotecha and Kevin Cheruiyot beat Jonas Alberto and Hercilio Rafael also of Mozambique 6-0, 6-1.