TANZANIAN Kanuti Alangwa failed to reach the final stage of the Zonal Junior Tennis Championship after losing to Derick Aminde of Kenya in the fiercely contested semi final at Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Club.
Alangwa is now looking to win a bronze medal does he win the third-place play off.
The U-16 game saw the young Kenyan winning easily the first set with 6-0 score, but Alangwa responded strongly only to find himself losing narrowly by 7-6 score.
The game took over one hour as the players’ skills matched.
Speaking after the game, Alangwa said the blunders he committed in the first set cost him dearly that is why he lost by a big margin.
He said much efforts are needed to enable Tanzania promote young players as most of them are gifted.
“Most of us don’t get exposure and experience because we don’t travel much to play in big events as you can find in our neighbours Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi.
Alangwa is now waiting to play in the third place play-off against the loser of the second semi final match between Joseph Cyiza and Kael Shah all from Kenya.
After the match Ominde admitted to have faced a stiff opposition in his semi final match against Alangwa.
He said he had to use all tricks to beat Alangwa in the second set due to his powerful fight.
“He was quite different in the second set, I had to play a cautious game after that,” said Ominde.
Another Tanzanian, Esther Nakulanga was eliminated by Kenyan Alicia Owegi by two straight sets in the quarter final stage also held yesterday.
Kenya also dominated the U-14 discipline through country’s star player Cynthia Cheruto who defeated Nishime from Rwanda by two straight sets in 6-2,6-2 scores.
Another Kenyan, Edmound Nyambari eliminated Kashindi Mussa from Burundi by 2-6, 6-3,6-7 sets.
The tournament’s supervisor Patrick Kamuhia said after the end of the singles matches yesterday, they will start a country level tournament today at the same venue.
The winners will represent East African Zone in the continental level championship to be held later this year in Tunisia.