Kenyan siblings sweep Malawi Open
Kenyan siblings, Ishmael and Shufwa Changawa, returned to haunt locals and reclaim Simbanet Malawi Open Tennis championship at Hill View High School in Blantyre on Sunday.
Ishmael and Shufwa, who won the 2013 championship for the men’s and ladies categories, respectively, did it again, outclassing a record 60 participants who graced the four-day championship.
In the men’s final, Ishmael beat record four-time winner, Edgar Kazembe of Zambia, 6-2 7-5.
In the semi-finals, Ishmael beat Italian volunteer Egon Tascher 6-2 6-2 whereas Kazembe defeated Ibrahim Kibet of Kenya 3-6 6-4 7-6.
In the ladies’ section, Ishmael’s sister, Shufwa, beat Nancy Onga of the Democratic Republic of Congo 6-4 7-6.
Over 10 foreign players took part in the competition which Simbanet bankrolled to the tune of K7.5 million.
Malawi’s top seed, James Matewere, lost in the third-round whereas second-seed, Julius Taulo, exited the competition from the quarter-finals.
In the ladies’ section, local ladies top-seed, Patricia Matola- Mlombwa, lost in the semi-finals whereas second-seed, Mary Luhanga, was outclassed in the quarter-finals.
The four-day championship was shifted from Blantyre Sports Club to Hill view High school due to the rains.
Commenting on Malawi’s pathetic performance, Lawn Tennis Association of Malawi Technical Director, Thompson Mtengula, said there was need for deliberate efforts to promote tennis in the country.
“We need to come up with structures both at the grassroots and senior level to develop the game; otherwise, we will continue to be king and queen-makers during our own championships,” he said.
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