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Old and new clash as Kenya Open climaxes

It will be a battle between new blood versus old Saturday when Shufaa Changawa and youngster Angela Okutoyi meet in the Britam Kenya Open Tennis Championships singles finale.

Top seed Shufaa sailed through to the finals without dropping a set and Friday she was emphatic against Madagascan fourth seeded player Narindra Ranaivo whom she downed 6-0, 6-3.

Her balls were pinpoint precise and powerful which troubled the leaner opponent from the ITF East Africa Centre in Nairobi. Ranaivo faulted repeatedly especially since her backhand returns did not hit target while Changawa had time and space to do variations with her shots. The 25-year-old 2016 champion had about 80 per cent of her winners gotten from the net, which was Ranaivo’s weakest point.

“Since the championship started, I wanted to improve in every match. To be at this stage, I am thankful that my plan is working,” said the Coast-based player.

Okutoyi, 14, who recently won gold in the Africa Junior Championships in Algeria, on her part silenced compatriot Alicia Owegi in straight sets of 6-3 6-3. Owegi was a handful as well and made the taller opponent work hard for her points. However, Okutoyi was more ambitious in chasing for points and had the zeal to sense and neutralise danger. In both sets, her forehand was her biggest winning weapon of choice.

“Angie is improving well and has big confidence in the way she plays well. She could very well be a winner so let us wait and see,” said her director Thierry Ntawali.

Meanwhile, Ibrahim Kibet heads into the men’s finals after a hard fought 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 over Burundian Abdul Shakur Kabura Friday.