Rwanda’s tennis ace Eric Hagenimana will not take part in this year’s International Tennis Federation/Confederation of African Tennis (ITF/CAT) East African money circuit. It has been disclosed that that the 23-year-old who is based in the US is gearing up for the prestigious Davis Cup tournament due in April.
“It is very costly for him to get involved in the money circuit and then return four weeks later for the Davis Cup, so the federation advised him to concentrate on the Davis Cup,” the local tennis federation technical director Thierry Ntwali explained.
Hagenimana came into the during the limelight in the 2005 ITF/CAT East African money circuit when he claimed the first and third leg.
In Hagenimana’s absence, Jean Claude Gasigwa will lead Rwanda’s quest in the tournament.
Gasigwa and Dieudonne Habyambere will be Rwanda’s top seeds in this year’s event and Ntwali has backed the duo to step up their game.
“It is a good opportunity for them to take up full responsibility. They are not new faces on the block and have a genuine chance this year,” Ntwali added.
Similar to past editions, this year’s event will evolve around three legs. The first leg will be staged in Burundi while the second and third legs will be held in Rwanda and Uganda respectively.
Last year ,though, Burundi staged the first leg while the second and third legs were staged in Kigali after a last minute pull-out by Uganda.
The Zimbabwean duo of Genius Chidzikwe and Gwinyai Tongoona proved a force to reckon in 2007 after dominating the tournament.
Tongoona won the Burundi leg after ousting Chidzikwe in an all-Zimbabwe final while Chidzikwe claimed the second and third events after dislodging Hagenimana on both occasions. The duo also went all the way in the doubles category.