Habiyambere eyes tennis memorial title

Ernest Habiyambere in action during the Rwanda Open last year. Sam Ngendahimana.

Rwanda’s top seed Ernest Habiyambere is keen on putting up a commanding performance to reclaim the Tennis Memorial Tournament that runs from June 8-16 in Kigali.

The 20-year old won the 2016 edition but failed to impress last year, after he was eliminated in the semi-finals by Arnold Ikondo from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to Rwanda Tennis Federation president Kassim Ntageruka, who is also the coordinator of all memorial tournaments, this year’s Tennis Memorial Tournament will attract participants from regional countries such as Kenya, Uganda, DRC, Burundi and Tanzania.

Last year, the competition which is held anually in honor of over one million lives lost in 1994, was dominated by DRC players, taking top honors in both the men and women categories respectively.

In an interview with Times Sport, Habiyambere said he has already started preparations and is confident about his chances to challenge for the title.

“I want better my performance this year and reclaim the title. I have been training well and feel in great form,” Habiyambere said.

He further added, “After the memorial tournament, I will head to Nairobi for the Kenya Open. I want to use the memorial cpmpetition as a test of my fitness and assessment of my level ahead of the regional competition in Kenya.”

Habiyambere, a beneficiary of the International Tennis Federation Center of Excellency in Morocco, made his debut appearance in the Kenya Tennis Open last year, where he reached the quarter-finals.

Since the death of top seed Jean Claude Gasigwa in January 2015, Habiyambere has been one of the eminent tennis players, representing the country in several international competitions, including the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games in Bahamas.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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