Rwanda’s tennis star, Mathieu Uwizeyimana is keen on putting up a good fight as he bids to win his first international tournament at the forthcoming Kenya Tennis Open Championships scheduled for early July.
This year’s Real Insurance Kenya Tennis Open will be preceded by the four-day Nairobi Open set to start on June 29 in Kenya’s capital and the hard-hitting right-hander, Uwizeyimana, revealed to Times Sport on Wednesday he will take part in both competitions.
The 24-year-old Uwizeyimana enjoyed the 2014 season, reaching the final of the Axiome tournament, winning the Liberation Day tournament and reaching quarter-finals of last year’s Kenya Open singles category and semi-finals in doubles and will be aiming to go a step or two further this time round.
He said: “I enjoyed my tennis last year; I hope the best part of my career lies ahead. My target is to reach as far as possible at the forthcoming Kenya Open, at least reaching the final and possibly win the competition.”
Uwizeyimana also noted that he will try to exploit the absence of big guns such as reigning champion Ishmael Changawa, Uganda’s top seed Duncan Mugabe and Zambia’s Egdar Kazembe who have threatened to boycott this year’s event.
Last year, Kenya’s 18-year-old Changawa beat Uganda’s ace Mugabe 6-4, 6-4 in the final to claim the single title. The late former Rwanda’s number one, Jean Claude Gasigwa and Zambia’s Kazembe were other semi-finalists of the men’s singles competition.
Uwizeyimana is currently training at Rugunga-based Cercle Sportif de Kigali ahead of the inaugural Genocide Memorial Tournament slated for June 12-16, a tournament he plans to use as part of the preparations ahead of the Nairobi and Kenya Open Championships.
Another Rwandan who has confirmed his participation in the Kenya Open is Olivier Havugimana-the 21-year-old is Uwizeyimana’s doubles partner.