Ryan Randiek and Albert Njogu comfortably cruised to the third round of the ongoing ITF East Africa Under-18 Junior Circuit at Nairobi Club yesterday.
In the first match of the day for Kenya in the boys’ draw, Njogu took out Denzel Seetso of Botswana in straight sets of 6-1, 6-1 while Randiek saw off French youngster Youssef Baccouche 6-2, 6-2.
Njogu took advantage of his strong serve to unsettle the Botswana player who is a product of the Nairobi-based ITF East Africa Training Centre. He was quicker off the blocks in the opening set as he ran the play especially from the net as Seetso struggled for rhythm.
It did not help matters that Njogu was hitting form having not dropped a single set in the entire tournament. Njogu won most of his points off his forehand as well as good backhand returns when need arose, only dropping two games in the entire match.
Meanwhile, Randiek looks set for a fine run in the competition after humbling his lanky French opponent. Baccouche was easy on the eye on some occasions with his spectacular shift of position and shot placements.
However, for all his guile and attractive play, he failed to convert most of his balls at which point Randiek stood tall and delivered the killer blows.
The Kenyan starlet never let up in attacking the ball with poise, his most lethal weapon being powerful backhands. Fifth seed Randiek dropped guard once in the opening set but recovered after the French player attempted to close in.
In the girls corner, Sneha Kotecha was the only Kenyan to sail through to the next round after seeing off Mallevre Oceane of France in straight sets of 6-0, 6-1. Kotecha took command of proceedings and made restricted her opponent to little opportunities. Her serve was impeccable as she used the baseline shots to punish Oceane in just under an hour while dropping only a single game.
There was no such luck, however, for Kenyans Alicia Owegi and Fattiya Sharrif who lost their matches to Mozambican Marly Ranaivo and Italian 14th seed Sofia Pizzoni in that order. Owegi put in a good fight but went down 6-3, 6-3 while Sharrif was beaten in straight sets of 6-0, 6-0.