By Brian Yonga
Kenya’s Ryan Randiek will resume his boys’ under 14 first round match against South Africa’s Connor Kruger on Friday morning after heavy rains disrupted the first day of the African Junior Tennis Championships in South Africa.
Randiek had won the first set 7-6 before the heavens opened forcing play to be suspended at the Tuks Tennis Club in Pretoria on Thursday.
The first set was closely contested with the South African off to a blistering start going 3-0 up. However, Randiek eventually imposed himself in the game and rallied to level to three all after hitting 23 match winners and 10 aces.
His resurgence continued in the seventh game and he went 4-3 up capitalising on his opponent’s mistakes before winning the next game to move to within a match of taking the first set.
However, Kruger hit back to level at 5-5 after some brilliant exchanges. The next two games were shared between the players forcing a tie break to determine the set.
Randiek was not to be denied as his favourite backhand shot saw him break the home player and take the first set just as the rains started pounding.
“It was an excellent match and I can’t wait to continue,” Randiek told Nation Sport on phone from South Africa.
“The rains obviously disrupted my momentum but I will go with the same philosophy in the next set.”
All the Categories (under 14 and 16) will be played in a round robin format over a period of 10 days with pool winners proceeding to the knock out rounds to determine the best juniors on the continent.
Each category has a collection of eight pools with Randiek, who is seeded third in Pool six, alongside his current opponent Connor Kruger from the host nation, 12th seeded Egyptian Abdel Rahman Hassan and Togo’s Charles Alipoe.
In the under 16 boys’ category Albert Njogu is seeded eighth and is in Pool two with Christian Worst (South Africa), Kenyan-based Fabrice Tuyishime of Rwanda and Christopher Itodo (Nigeria).
Njogu is slated to play his first match against Tuyishime this morning. Kenya’s Sheil Kotecha is seeded 15th and is in Pool eight alongside second seed Yassir Kilani (Morocco), Fredrick Coulibaly (Ivory Coast) and Omary Hamis Sulle (Tanzania).
Angela Nyangweso Okutoyi and Sneha Kotecha will represent Kenya in the under 14 girls’ category. Sneha opens her campaign against Rwanda’s Grace Gisubizo Ndahunga while Nyangweso will tackle Finarita Andriamadison from Madagascar.
In the under 16 girls’ category, Kenya’s Esther Wahome and Faith Nyabera will be looking to come out on top. Wahome is pooled alongside defending champion Celestine Ayomo Ella of Gabon.
Source All Africa