RWANDA’S seed three Jean Claude Gasigwa progressed to the semi finals of the ITF/CAT East African Prize Money tournament yesterday at Umubano hotel.
Gasigwa eliminated Burundi’s Moussa Hakizimana on 7-5 6-4 in exactly two hours. The former Rwandan top seed was forced to sweat in the first set as he was stretched to the limit but managed to come strongly to win it on a tie break. He then cruised to a successful second set victory 6-4.
Seed five, Mathieu Uwizeyimana also booked a place in the semi finals after eliminating compatriot Jean Damascene Munyaneza in straight sets 6-1 6-3.
However, it was bad news for the home favourite and second seed Dieudonne Habiyambere who won the first leg after overpowering rival Gasigwa last Saturday. He fell to Kenya’s Daniel Ochieng 6-1 1-6 3-6.
Ochieng, whose powerful serve was too stronger Habiyambere. The Rwandan won the first set but the Kenyan came back strongly to take the next two games.
Homeboy Olivier Nkunda was also sent packing after falling to Burundi’s Issa Cuma in staraight sets 6-3 7-5.
In the doubles’ category, Gasigwa who paired with Uganda’s Robert Buyinza ousted Daniel Nsabimana and Eric Ntawuhigano 6-1, 6-0.
In today’s semi finals, Gasigwa will take on Uwizeyimana while Ochieng takes on Cuma for a place in the final and the winner’s top prize of $800.
In the ladies category, Gisele Umumararungu, who won the first leg after beating Kenya’s Caroline Odour final last weekend, recorded a win in the second leg opener beating Tanzania’s Athumani Rehema 6-1 6-1 on Tuesday in a round robin tournament whose winner will pocket $540.
However, Odour is the well-placed player who may scoop the top honour following her two victories over Joseline Umulisa and Olive Tuyisenge 6-4, 6-0 and 6-0, 6-0 respectively.
The tournament which comes to a climax this Thursday is sponsored by the International Tennis Federation and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.