Rwanda’s top seed Jean Claude Gasigwa is looking to make amends in the KCB Kenya Open championship which has been hampered by heavy rain at its traditional venue, Nairobi Club Murram courts.
In the absence of Zimbabweans Martin Dzuwa and Gwinyai Tongoona who have dominated the competition in recent years, Gasigwa, Uganda’s tennis ace Duncan Mugabe and Kenya’s Francis Rogoi are Allan Cooper’s major threats to the title.
Cooper, who is arguably Kenya’s most experienced tennis player won last year’s event after beating Dzuwa 6-3, 7-6 in the final.
With an increase in prize money Khs750, 000 (Rwf6.8m), the men’s winner will pocket Sh85, 000 (Rwf0.76m) while the top female player will walk away with Sh75, 000 (0.68m).
Gasigwa will be looking to go a notch better in the competition where he reached the final in 2008 only to lose to Dzuwa.
In Kampala, Gasigwa was dislodged in the semi-final category by Kenya’s rising star Dennis Ochieng.
With Dieudonne Habiyambere ruling himself out of the Kenya event due to abdominal pains, Gasigwa is the only Rwandan in the competition.
The Nairobi tournament marks the fourth leg of the ITF/CAT Money Circuit that has taken players to Bujumbura, Kigali and Kampala.