Rwanda’s Jocelyn Umulisa is optimistic of fighting through to the title ahead of her first round match against local rival Tracey Gaga in the Rwanda Tennis Open 2019 on Wednesday.
Should she successfully execute the mission, it would be her first Rwanda Open title.
The one-week long tournament, which got underway on Sunday, has attracted over 150 players – including amateurs, veterans and professional players – from Kenya, Ethiopia, DR Congo, Tanzania and hosts Rwanda.
The games are held at three different venues; Amahoro Stadium, Nyarutarama Tennis Club and Cercle Sportif de Kigali.
When the tournament was last held, in 2017, Umulisa reached the semi-finals but she was seen off by eventual champion Shufaa Changawa, from Kenya.
“This year, the target is to win the title. I have been training hard and the morale is high,” she told Times Sport on Tuesday.
“Compared to the last time, we (Rwandan players) are more prepared. If I don’t win, I have confidence that one of my compatriots will.”
Holder Changawa marches on
Meanwhile, Kenya’s Ismail Changawa – who was the 2017 winner in men’s category – advanced from the second round on Tuesday after dominating Rwandan Jean Pierre Niyogira 6-0 6-1. He faces Mathieu Uwizeyimana, another Rwandan, in the third round on Wednesday.
Rwanda’s top seed and second seed of the tournament, Olivier Havugimana, has also reached the third round and faces compatriot Emmanuel Harerimana on Wednesday for a place in the quarter-finals.
Third seed Ibrahim Kibert of Kenya takes on Janvier Mugwaneza, of Rwanda, in the third round following his effortless 6-3 6-0 win over Ethiopia’s Abdullah in Tuesday’s second round.
After the third round games, the last eight round is scheduled for Thursday, with the semi-finals on Friday before taking a rest day on Saturday.
The finals will be played on Sunday.