J. Gasigwa bt D. Oringa
(Uga) 6-4, 4-6, 7-5
C. Odour (Ken) bt E. Otula
(Ken) 6-4, 6-2
TOP SEED Jean Claude Gasigwa had to cope with the scorching sun to beat David Oringa and win a record seventh ITF/CAT Prize Money title on Friday at Umubano hotel courts.
Gasigwa, 30, needed three hours to edge his Ugandan opponent in three sets 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 to reaffirm his dominance on clay, and further re-write his name among the greats of the sport in the country.
Both men appeared edgy in the early stages, with breaks of serve exchanged in games three and four, but Gasigwa fired a brilliant cross-court backhand winner to take the opening set.
Oringa made Gasigwa work hard in the second set as the industrious Ugandan took charge of the second set with his good aggressive forehand services.
In the third set, Gasigwa came from two games down and looked razor sharp again when a volley put him 2-0 ahead in the third game. It was to be Oringa’s last chance as a double-fault cost him his serve for the seventh time.
Poor service and lack of concentration by Oringa coupled with home support for Gasigwa, ensured the top seed racked up a magnificent forehand winner before throwing his hands up in the skies to celebrate an incredible seventh ITF Prize Money victory title.
Gasigwa, who pocketed $890 (about Rwf578, 000) in cash prize said, “This is a sweet victory. Oringa is a good player and he always gives me a hard time whenever we meet.”
“I must thank the fans because without them, I may not have won this match. This win is important because it’s a major boost for me ahead of future international competitions,” added Gasigwa.
Oringa pocketed US$600 (approx. Rwf. 389,000) for his effort and later said, “Gasigwa served better than me, he was very aggressive on his forehand, he didn’t make mistakes, so he deserves to win.”
In the women final, Kenyan Caroline Odour beat fellow compatriot Evelyn Otula 6-4 6-2 to extend her unbeaten run in the ITF Prize Money since 2011. Odour bagged $680, while Otula settled for $390.
By press time, Dieudonne Habiyambere and Olivier Nkunda were set to face Oringa and Issa Cuma in the men’s doubles final, while Odour and Otula were due to face Gisele Umumararungu and Megan Ingabire in the women category.