LACK OF finances could force top seeds Jean Claude Gasigwa and Dieudonne Habiyambere to skip the forthcoming International Tennis Federation Men’s Futures tournament set for September 23-29 in Bujumbura, Burundi.
Speaking to Times Sport on Wednesday, Gasigwa said, “I am not sure if I will be able to take part in the Burundi tournament; first, I have personal issues to deal with and, secondly, I haven’t got the money to make the trip.”
“However, it would be a good platform to prepare for the Rwanda leg, which comes immediately after the Burundi leg,” noted Rwanda’s number one player.
Habiyambere was clearer about the possibility of taking part in the first leg tournament. “I am training for the Rwanda Futures. Taking part in the Burundi tournament is costly and in any case only one invite was sent to Rwanda.”
Regional players planning to compete in Burundi Futures must take care of their transport and accommodation and pay $65 for an International Players’ Identification Number (to guarantee participation) as well as $40 in entry fees.
Rwanda will be represented by Olivier Havugimana, who was given a wild card.
The winners of the week-long tournament will share US$10,000 in cash prizes.
After the Burundi F1 Futures, players will descend on Kigali for the second leg.
The second leg (Rwanda F1 Futures) is slated to run from September 30 – October 6 at Umubano courts.
Local players have always struggled in the competition and it remains to be seen if any Rwandan will break the jinx this time around.
Eric Hagenimana, who is now based in the US, remains the only Rwandan to have reached the quarter-finals of the tournament – in 2003.
Last year, Habiyambere failed to go past the first round while Gasigwa, winner of this year’s ITF Men’s Prize Money tournament, managed to reach the second round.