LOCAL tennis ace Jean Claude Gasigwa is focused on winning East Africa’s most lucrative tennis event, the Tanga Cement Open, which starts August 23 at Dar es Salaam’s Gymkhana Club.
Fresh from winning the second leg of the ITF/CAF money circuit in Kigali, Gasigwa, who turned 28 last month, is beaming with confidence ahead of the Tanzanian event.
“I have been playing well over the last few weeks and believe I have a good shot at the Tanga Cement Open,” he said before adding, “I still have a couple of weeks to prepare and hope I will be in perfect shape when the tournament starts.”
After falling to his Rwandan counterpart Dieudonne Habiyambere in the first leg, Gasigwa went a notch better last week as he thrashed Kenya’s Dennis Ochieng in the final which was played at Umubano hotel.
It was a relatively easy win for the homeboy as he strolled through in straight sets 6-2, 6-2 to pocket $800 (approx. Rwf482, 000). Ochieng settled for $540 (approx. Rwf325, 000).
With the All Africa Games round the corner, Gasigwa knows that a fine display in Dar es Salaam will cement his place on the national team. Habiyambere, Olivier Nkunda, and Mathieu Uwizeyimana are some of the players vying for a ticket to Maputo, the venue for the Games.
More than 70 players are expected to compete in the Rwf 5m Tanga Cement Open. In 2009, Gasigwa won the tournament while the ladies’ title went to Kenya’s Caroline Oduor.
Besides the singles category, players will also compete in the doubles and mixed categories.