A totalof 161 players will compete in the third edition of Rwanda Tennis Open that starts today and will run until September 26 at Amahoro National Stadium tennis courts.
Returning back after fifteen years, this year’s tournament gets underway with the juniors and amateurs categories before the seniors (main) event that has attracted elite players from Uganda, DR Congo, Tanzania, Burundi and hosts Rwanda, begins on September 20.
The ten-day event comprises of three categories namely; juniors U-16, Amateurs and professionals or seniors.
According to the Rwanda Tennis Federation assistant technical director, Jean Pierre Nshimiyimana, the U-16 category comprises of 32 players (16 boys and 16 girls) while the amateurs category will attract a total of 48 players, all men.
The Men’s Singles comprise 32 players while a total of 16 will compete in the doubles category.
Meanwhile, iIn the professionals’ category, Rwanda will field a total of 32 players in the Men’s Singles and 32 in Women’s Singles while the doubles category will have 16 players for both men and women.
Rwandan players that are among the favorites to win this year’s Open include; the top three seeds Ernest Habiaymbere, Olivier Havugimana and Dieudonne Habiyambere as well as Meganne Ingabire, the number one seed in the women category.
Burundi will field four players, Kenya has three that include number three, Ibrahim Kibeki, DR Congo will field eight players, led by African champion Denis Indondo (winner of 2015 All African Games).
Tanzania has entered two while Uganda will be represented by three players; among them number one Duncan Mugabe, who is already in Kigali and David Oringa.
“Everything is in place and we look forward to a very successful and competitive tournament,” Nshimiyimana told Times Sport.
The event, which is organized by the Rwanda Tennis Federation in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports and Culture (MINISPOC), will see the winners take home US$1000 (men) and US$700 (women) in prize money.