The atmosphere is buzzing ahead of the 2018 edition of the Britam Kenya Tennis Open Championships as local players seek redemption.
At total 108 players have confirmed participation led by registered with 73 men and 35 women readying for action. The Changawa siblings; Shufaa and Ismael who have promised to reclaim their 2017 title, which went to Ugandans Duncan Mugabe and Natalie Coronel. The pair will not defend their titles having already committed to other events.
However other bigwigs on show will include former winner and veteran Edgar Kazembe from Zambia and Kenyan Ibrahim Kibet Yego. Three time champion Ismael will look to add another feather on his cap following a successful season which saw him play part in Kenya earning a Davis Cup Group 2 berth in July plus the recent gold in the East African Community Games.
The 22 year old is destined to be top seed and will likely face challenge from Kazembe seeing as Sheil Kotecha and Kevin Cheruiyot are sitting out this tournament.
Shufaa who is a 2016 champion has told People Sports that she is ready for the challenge and will not take any opponent for granted. “The ladies draw looks fairly exciting but I will give my all to win again. I have been practicing and resting in balance due to my arm which had issues. Now that I feel better and have the go ahead from the physiotherapist, it is time to reclaim my title,” says the 25 year old Coast based player.
This year’s Championships have attracted players from Zimbabwe, Zambia, Rwanda, Uganda, Japan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Burundi, Germany, Sudan, Ghana and Zambia.