Kenyan players bow out in first round at Africa show

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Kenyan tennis players yesterday bowed out of the Africa Under-14 tennis championships in Benoni, South Africa. 

Radha Raja put up a gallant fight but ended up losing 7-5, 7-5, to seventh seed Lili Belle Minet of Cote d’ Ivoire. Radja started superbly by breaking the Ivorian’s serve and a  2-0 lead in the first set.

Minet fought back to win the next two games to tie the set 2-2. Raja and Minet then traded points for the next six games with play going to serve and the match tied at 5-5.

Minet broke Raja’s resistance in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead and sealed the game by winning the final game.

Raja came out firing on all cylinders in the second set to take the game to her opponent. Both players split the opening eight games of the set before Minet stepped up to win the second set and progress to the second round.

Raymond Oduor lost 6-2,6-2 to Johny Rovanantenaina of Madagascar;  Edward Ogela lost 6-1, 6-1 to second seed Botwana’s Denzel Seeton in the boys’ category as Cynthia Cheruto lost to Carle Botha of South Africa 6-4, 6-1.

The Kenyan players have been relegated to the classification matches for the remainder of the tournament.

Elsewhere, the Kenya Open tournament is slated for June at the Nairobi Club. Top players expected for the event will include the like of Kevin Cheruiyot, Ismael Changawa, Ibrahim Kibet, Sheil Kotecha, Sneha Kotecha and Derrick Ominde.Defending women’s champion Angela Okutoyi, Sheil Kotecha and  Alicia Owegi are expected for the week-long event. 

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