Etienne Niyigena defeated Olivier Havugimana in the Mota ENGILTennis Open final which lasted three hours as both players showed why they are some of the best tennis players in the country.
Niyigena won 3-2 in the best of five sets contest including the first, third, and fifth (6-4, 6-1, and 6-2) respectively. Havugimana won the 2nd and 4th sets by (6-3, 6-2).
The win is the second for Niyigena who pointed out that he was confident and focused since the tournament started on August 21.
“I’m happy to have retained the title. The prize money [Rwf 500,000] will assist me in my preparations for the Heineken Bralirwa Open, as well as acquiring equipment like sneakers and rackets,” he said.
The highly anticipated game between two of the local professionals captivated fans at the Cercle Sportif tennis court who cheered through 3 hours of non-stop action.
“I was not in good form but tried to push him to the end. Congratulations to him and the fans who turned up in huge numbers to cheer us on,” Havugimana said.
As the runner up, Havugimana walked away with Rwf 250,000. Semifinalists Gatete Hamisa and Yannick Muvunyi received Rwf 100,000 each. Those who reach the quaterfinals earned Rwf 50,000 each.
Brian Nkuruh, an official of Gorilla Games, with some of the young tennis players who received scholarships.
Major General John Bosco Kazura who heads the tennis department at Cercle Sportif Sports Club thanked the sponsors, Mota-ENGIL for boosting the sport and also providing scholarships to talented but disadvantaged children.
“The future looks to be bright,” he said and promised that the next tournament will be much bigger and better.
Maj Gen Jean Bosco Kazura with Havugimana, who finished as runners-up.
In the Under-16 top category, eight top player in the male and female categories received scholarships for a year. The boys are: Claude Ishimwe, Prince Habayimbere, Delphi Iradukunda and Emmanuel Manishimwe while the girls include: Rona Twishimwe, Merissa Ishimwe, Christian Uwamahoro and Carine Manishimwe.
Antonia Azevedo, the Managing Director of Mota-ENGIL said, “We sponsored the first tournament in April, which showed us that there is a lot of talented tennis players in Rwanda. We are now happy to be able to do more for the community by providing education to young athletes.”