Kenyans struggle at home in ITF event
It was a bad day in office for home players at the ongoing ITF World Tennis Tour J5 Championship with a couple of them falling along the way yesterday at the Nairobi Club showpiece.
In the boys’ singles Gabriel Gomez of France overrun Liberty Kiboe in straight sets of 6-2/6-1 as the Kenyan players had it rough especially in control of the match.
The French opponent was composed and ruthless with his shots getting winners particularly through forced errors off his opponent.
Liberty tried to take the game in the opening set in the process picking two wins but that was not to be enough as Gomez took advantage of some poor balls to do damage to the Kenyan.
The second set took a shorter time as Gomez continued to wield his prowess with the racket.
His movement and shots were too much for Kiboe who at times had to go further back to the baseline.
The unseeded Gomez was also fast and decisive with his balls thus getting the upper hand.
In the girls’ singles, Kenya’s Haddasah Grace Msime lost to Austrian player Theresa Stabeur in straight sets of 6-2/6-1 in another dominating match for the European.
Stabeur had beaten Egyptian Zaki Rokaya 6-1/6-4 in the Tournament Qualifier Sunday.
Msime was not quite up to par with her opponent even though in the third and second games of either set, she was buzzing.
Her failure to convert easy shots especially from the by-line cost her valuable points.
Another Kenyan Alicia Owegi fell short with a 6-2/6-4 loss to Jo-Lean Saw of Mauritius.
The Kenyan had twice in either set taken charge of proceedings before her opponent cruised through with emphatic hitting and returns.
Owegi had good serve discipline but was let down by poor decision-making in crucial shots.
The second set saw Owegi push the limits and almost get herself to a decider but Saw had other ideas.