KAMPALA- Local tennis top seed Duncan Mugabe is hoping to play better, under pressure, after seeing off unseeded opponent Ronald Opio in the first round of the Rak Tie-Break Tennis Competition on Monday evening.
Mugabe beat Opio 7-1, 7-3 in the best of three singles only knockout tournament at Centre Court, Lugogo but expects stiff competition in upcoming matches.
His second round opponent William Kalega who struggled to see off Moses Bashasha 7-5, 8-6. “It is a tie break competition of seven points per set so you have to play your best seven shots and hope your opponent doesn’t turn up,” Mugabe told Daily Monitor.
Playing for money
“A lot of money is at stake so everyone is trying to give their best and give themselves a shot at winning. I haven’t heard of a local competition where someone has to win $1,000 (Shs2.5m) in just a few minutes of playing tennis so I know that just like everyone here I have to deliver under immense pressure,” he added.
Second seed David Oringa was awarded a walk over after his opponent Kyagulanyi failed to show up while Henry Muyanja (seed six) played the longest match of the day as he dug deep to avert a shocker from the unseeded Charles Okurut. Muyanja won 8-6, 6-8, 7-1.
The tournament is being contested in four different categories of men (64 players), women (32 players), boys (16 players) and girls (16 players) with cash prizes worth $4500 (Shs11,250,000).
Winners for both men and women will earn $1,000 (Shs2.5m) while semi finalists in either category will earn $500 (Shs1.25m). Winners and runners up in the under 18 categories (boys and girls) will earn $150 (Shs375,000) and $100 (Shs250,000) respectively.
The tournament has been given clout by regional tennis players like third seed Jean Claude Gasigwa (Rwanda) and fourth seed Ismael Changawa (Kenya) who both won their first round games against Dennis Kaboyo (7-1, 7-1)and Charles Kavuma (7-2, 7-3) respectively.
Round one and two games continue today at various tennis courts in Lugogo while the finals will be played on Saturday.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor