Rwanda’s poor run continues

Rwanda will have to wait another year to see if its players can win or even reach the later stages of the ITF Men’s Futures tournament after local players were sent packing in the first round on Wednesday at the Umubano Hotel courts.
Mathieu Uwizeyimana (pictured) and Anatole Bizimana lost their doubles rubber yesterday to end Rwanda's hopes in the ITF tourney. Times Sport/Plaisir Muzogeye
Mathieu Uwizeyimana (pictured) and Anatole Bizimana lost their doubles rubber yesterday to end Rwanda's hopes in the ITF tourney. Times Sport/Plaisir Muzogeye

Rwanda will have to wait another year to see if its players can win or even reach the later stages of the ITF Men’s Futures tournament after local players were sent packing in the first round on Wednesday at the Umubano Hotel courts.

Olivier Havugimana and Hakim Ntwali, Mathieu Uwizeyimana and Anatole Bizimana were the first to exit the week-long international tournament on Tuesday.

Bizimana fell to seed three Yannick Mertens of Belgium, who is ranked 347 on Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings. The 26-year- old beat his Rwandan opponent 6-0, 6-1 to march into the second round, while Uwizeyimana fell to Jannis Kiniger of Switzerland 2-6, 2-6.

Rwanda’s last hope was also blown away yesterday in the men’s doubles’ category. Bizimana, who partnered with Uwizeyimana, lost to the pair of Jastraunig and Melzer 6-1, 6-2.

In the singles’ category second round yesterday, seed two Nedunchezhiyan Jeevan of India defeated Nigeria’s Henry Atseye 6-1, 6-0 to storm the quarter-finals.

Top seed Gerard Melzer, ranked 201 by ATP, beat Frenchman Gilles De Sousa 6-0, 6-3 to ease into quarters, while Mertens Yannick ousted Uganda’s David Oringa (Uga) 6-1, 6-1 to reach the last eight.

In another second round contest, seed four Lukas Jastraunig from Austria eliminated Refiloe Molaoa from South Africa 6-0, 6-0.

Bulgarian Lazov Alexander, Fynn Mark from Zimbabwe, Indian Mithum Murali and Papasidero Lorenzo from Italy all progressed into quarters which start today.

The ITF Men’s Future has been elusive for Rwandans ever since Eric Hagenimana reached the quarter-finals of the tournament in 2006.

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