09 Dec 2015

Makhlouf dominates ITF East Africa 18 & Under Circuit

News Article

By James Rogoi

ITF East Africa 18

The East African region registered contrasting results over the three weeks of the ITF East Africa Juniors Circuit which was held in Nairobi, Kenya between 16 November and 5 December.

The most notable singles result that the region could lay claim to was the run made by Kenya's Kevin Cheruiyot in the first week, where he made it into the semifinals before suffering an upset (he was seeded second) at the hand of the Kenyan-born Brit, Remus Cope in three identical sets 63 36 63.

The final saw Egypt's Sherif Makhlouf defeat Cope to win the first of three singles titles over the course of the three weeks.
The next best East African performer for week one was Rwanda's Ernest
Habiyambere, who was Cheruiyot's victim in the quarterfinal.

Week two's action saw a decline in ranking and performance from Cheruiyot as, ranked third, (owing to the arrival of Mehluli Don Ayanda Sibanda of Zimbabwe) he went out in the quarterfinals to Poland's Ksawery Pociej.

Cheruiyot did however have some regional company in the shape of a losing quarterfinalist in Tanzania's Emmanuel Mallya, who lost 63 62 to eventual champion Makhlouf in a performance that was more impressive than the final scoreline suggests.

The third and final week was the most impressive in the boys' singles. Despite none of the home boys making it to the final, three regional players had their names on the main draw's Order of Play as quarterfinal day came.

Ethiopia's Abdella Nedim Mohammed joining the always there or thereabouts Cheruiyot and a new entrant to the Quarters Club in Burundi's Muhamed Omar.
The East African girls were also impressive. In the first week, Celestine Avomo Ella of Gabon made the semifinals before losing to Egypt's Hala Fouad to set up a first week all-Egyptian final.

Mariam Mujawimana of Burundi, lost in the quarterfinals to Serbia's Draginja Vukovic and Kenyan wild card Stephanie Mbaya succumbed to Fouad in the last eight.

An identical second week loss for Mujawimana in the quarterfinals would see her as the only regional player in the last eight with Mbaya having been eliminated in the previous round. Avomo Ella would also go down in the last eight in week two as well as week three and so would the other East Africans in Mujawimana and Mbaya.
There would however be more joy - a lot more for the East African region in the Doubles - with a brace of titles for the duo of the ITF East Africa Centre in Mujawimana and Avomo Ella who took the week two title against the top seeds in Egyptian girls Farah Yasser Abd El Wahab and Fouad in a straight sets victory 61 64.
Week three was, however, a much closer affair as Avomo Ella and
Mujawimana won the last title in a tense final set tiebreak against
the Mauritian girls, Amelie Boy and Zara Lennon.
Kevin Cheruiyot also finally got his hands on a winners' medal when he partnered with Sherif Makhlouf to take the doubles title.