Albert Njogu and Sneha Kotecha stormed into the finals of the ITF East Africa Junior Circuit 18 and Under championships at the Nairobi Club on Friday.
Njogu, who is the tournament’s third seed, had to dig deep in the first set before dismissing 12th seed Maxime Dubouch from France 7-5 at the tie-break of five and 6-3.
It was the second time Njogu was reaching final of the ITF East Africa Junior Circuit 18 and Under competition this year, having also reached the semi-finals once and quarterfinals thrice.
Njogu now seeks his maiden victory against fourth seed Rostislav Galfinger from Kazakstan in the boys’ final at 9am.
Galfinger also staged a thrilling three-set display before stunning top seed Abdoul Shakur Kabura from Burundi in 7-5, 3-6 and 6-3 to set up Njogu.
It was yet another nerve-racking three-set showcase as top seed Kotecha rallied from a second set defeat to waylay fourth seed Tea Lukic from Germany 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(8).
Kotecha produced good serves and rallies to easily take the first but Lukic improved her backhand and was more aggressive to take the second set.
Kotecha, who is now in line for her third title, will face third seed Van Der Merwe from South Africa in the girls’ final. Der Merwe eased past second seed Aisha Niyonkuru 6-1, 6-3 to reach the final.
Kotecha will be meeting Der Merwe for the first time in two years starting at 9am. They last met in the semi-finals of the Africa Masters Under-14 Championship where Kotecha won on her way to winning the championship.