Apart from Rwanda’s seed two Jean-Claude Gasigwa who is directly drawn into the main draw of the second leg of the ITF Men’s Futures, the other local tennis players can only work their way into the main draw if they progress past today’s qualifying round. However, it is not expected to be an easy contest for them as they take on much more experienced opponents.
Dieudonné Habiyambere kicks off the qualifying action at noon when he plays Russia’s Stepan Khaotulev on court one.
Habiyambere is in for a tough game as he takes on the Russian who boasts of an ATP ranking of 1289.
On court two, Jean-Damascène Munyaneza battles Rubino Vittorio of Italy while Cekina Niyoshuti takes on Uganda’s Robert Buyinza on court 4. On court three, it’s an all Rwanda affair as Janvier Mugwaneza plays Fils Ntakirutimana.
Gasigwa is one of four players drawn into the tournament after acquiring wild cards from ITF. The others include Duncan Mugabe (Uganda), Issa Cuma (Burundi) and Croatia’s Marko Munda.
Contrary to many people’s expectations, Gasigwa had an awful show in the tournament’s first leg which was held in Burundi.
The 21-year-old did not taste any second round action after being knocked out in the first round. In the singles category, he was bashed in straight sets (6-1, 6-0) by Lithuania’s Gvidas Sabeckis.
In the doubles, he teamed up with Kenya’s Gilbert Kibet but still failed to progress to the second round after losing in straight sets (6-1, 6-3) to Duncan Mugabe and Hendrik Coertzen.
S. Khotulev (Rus) v D. Habiyambere (Rwa) – Court 1
R. Vittorio (Ita) v J. D. Munyaneza (Rwa)- Court 2
J. Mugwaneza (Rwa) v F. Ntakirutimana (Rwa)- Court 3
C. Niyoshuti (Rwa) v R. Buyinza (Ug)- Court 4