FORTY-EIGHT tennis players are set to battle it out in the 2013 ITF/CAT Money Circuit tournament which begins today at the Umubano hotel courts.
According to Rwanda Tennis Federation technical director Fidel Bayama, a total of 32 boys will compete in the men’s category, while 16 will battle it out in women’s category.
The annual prize money tournament has attracted players from Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Mozambique, Burundi and hosts Rwanda. Uganda is also expected but had not confirmed by press time.
Defending champion Jean Claude Gasigwa, who beat compatriot Dieudonne Habiyambere to win his second successive ITF/CAT Prize money circuit last year, is the hot favourite to retain the men’s title.
Besides Gasigwa, other players to watch out for include Habiyambere, Olivier Nkunda, Issa Cuma and Phenyo Matong from Botswana.
In the women category, defending champion Caroline Odour from Kenya and veteran Evelyn Otula as well as Rwanda’s top two seeds, Gisele Umumararungu and Megan Ingabire are top contenders for the top prize.
Bayama also confirmed that the one-week tournament will cost an estimated budget worth Rwf.6millions.
The week-long tournament which has total prize money of US$4500 (about Rwf.3m), will see the winners of each category pocket US$800 and the losing finalists taking US$540. The semi-finalists and quarter-finalists will walk away with US$200 and US$140 respectively.
After the ITF/CAT Prize Money Circuit, the players will turn attention to the ITF Men’s Futures which will be staged in Kigali from September 30-October 12.