As the ITF East Africa Junior Circuit under 18 Championships gets to its second week today, top local players are keen to make a mark.
Boys’ losing finalist Albert Njogu of Kenya and losing semi-finalist Abdul Shakur Kabura of Burundi are sharpening their claws for a renewed battle against their European counterparts.
The opening week was a test of nerves on domestic players who have a point to prove on their own turf this week. Having lost narrowly last week, both players agree there were certain aspects of their game that need polishing.
“I was disappointed with my performance but there is no time to complain. It is back to work for me and certain things have to be worked on especially serve and anticipation. We have two weeks to make things work better so that my rankings improve,” said Njogu who lost to Kazakh Rostislav Galfinger 2-6, 6-4,3-6 in the singles final, having not dropped a set prior to the match.
Hotshot Kabura, a rising star in the juniors’ circuit, was off colour in the semis loss against the troublesome Galfinger losing 5-7, 6-3, 3-6 but has vowed to come back all guns blazing this week.
“I want to win both the remaining legs and I feel I have what it takes. We have to review alongside my coach the ineffective areas witnessed in my last match and improve. I do not want to make excuses, but I think last Friday I was just poor in key moments,” said the 17-year-old.