Changawa siblings Ismail and Shufaa remained on course to retain their Britam Kenya Open Tennis men women’s singles titles after advancing to quarterfinals and semi-finals respectively on Wednesday.
It was a day where home players registered mixed results as the competition entered its third day of the main draw action at Nairobi Club.
Ismail was first up on court against 14th seed Christian Diamba of Democratic Republic of Congo in their third round encounter.
The top seeded Kenyan was in control winning 6-0, 6-3 to secure his place in the last eight of the competition.
Ismail, who is seeking a fourth crown at Nairobi Club, praised his opponent for putting up a brave fight.
“He struggled in the first set but put on a spirited display in the second set. He made me work a bit and I think this will help me in the next stage,” the US-based Ismail said.
Ismail made light work of his opponent in the first set as his powerful backhand again proved to be his greatest weapon.
Ismail was be joined in the last eight by compatriot and fourth seed Ibrahim Kibet who had to dig deep to overcome Sama Nkukufa of DRC 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in their third round match.
Seventh seed Sheil Kotecha of Kenya also kept his dreams of winning a maiden title alive after an impressive 6-1, 6-2 win over another DRC player Christian Saidi (11).
“My target was at least getting to the semi-finals and I am well on course,” Kotecha said.
Second seed and former champion Duncan Mugabe also advanced to today’s quarterfinals after claiming a 6-1, 6-0 win over Kenya’s Petty Andanda (15).
It was however the end of the road for eighth seed Kevin Cheruiyot after he crashed out following a 3-6, 6-4, 4-6 loss to number 10 seed Oliver Havugimana of Rwanda.
Ninth seed Ernest Habiyambere of Rwanda upset sixth seed David Oringa of Uganda 7-5, 6-2.
Women’s champion Shufaa Changawa finally dropped her first game at the competition in her 6-3, 6-4 win over Madagascar’s Narindra Corrine Ranaivo during their quarterfinal encounter.
Shufaa had to be at her best to wade off the challenge of her opponent who was playing for the first time in the Kenya Open.
“The competition becomes stiffer as the tournament progresses and I therefore need to up my game,” Shufaa said.
Kenya’s Judith Nkatha was unable to join Shufaa in the semi-finals after she went down 6-0, 6-3 to third seed Celestine Avomo of Gabon.
In the women’s wheelchair category, top seed Phoebe Masika of Kenya stormed into the semi-finals after downing Tanzania’s Zainabu Mtitu 6-1, 6-0. She will be joined by compatriots Elizabeth Njoki and Jane Ndenga who also won their respective last eight matches.