Photo: Tommy Hindley / Professional SportWasiu Yusuf (NGR)
Kenya’s women’s team made a good start on home soil on Thursday’s first day of the BNP Paribas World Team Cup African Qualification in Nairobi, while Morocco and Nigeria, the two seeded countries in the men’s event, also registered comfortable victories in their opening ties.
Paralympians Yusuf Wasiu and Alex Adewale dropped a total of just three games between them to secure second seed Nigeria a 3-0 win over Kenya in the men’s event.
While Yusuf earned a 60 60 win over Rajab Abdallah, Adewale dropped just one game to Caleb Odiyo and then followed up his 60 61 victory by partnering Yusuf to a 60 62 win against Odiyo and Peter Munuve in the doubles rubber. Kenya will now face Egypt in their second round-robin contest.
Top seed Morocco also beat Tanzania 3-0 in the other group. Fouad Boughnim got Morocco off to a winning start after beating Yohana Mwila 62 61 and world No. 35 Lhaj Boukartacha put the tie beyond Tanzania with a 62 60 win over Novatus Temba. Ayoub Ettali joined forces with Boukartacha to win the doubles against Mwila and Temba 62 61. Tanzania plays Gambia on Friday.
Kenya’s first round-robin tie in the women’s event against Egypt provided the closest finishes of the day as Jane Ndenga held off the challenge of Egypt’s Shaimaa Abdellatif 63 76(5). Despite the best efforts of Neama Nouh, who took the second singles rubber to three sets, Phoebe Masika Matingi gave Kenya an unassailable 2-0 lead after securing the second rubber 63 36 75.
Rahab Akoth then partnered Ndenga to beat Ebdellatif and Nouh 63 64, completing a 3-0 win for Kenya. Egypt will now bid to register a victory when taking on Tanazania on Friday’s second day of competition at the Nairobi Club.