Judith Nkatha Tuesday shrugged off a shoulder injury to beat her compatriot Faith Nyabera 7-5, 6-4 in the first round of International Tennis Federation (ITF) Women’s World Tour at Peponi School in Kiambu County.
Nkatha rallied on strong serves to dominate her opponent from early on in the tournament where a prize fund of Sh1.5 million is up for grabs.
“I thought my injury would present a challenge to me in the match, but it didn’t bother me much. I am familiar with the court and I felt less pressure playing here because I was playing a fellow Kenyan,” said Nkatha.
Nyabera was disappointed to have lost the crucial match.
“I’m disappointed today. I expected to play much better, especially because I had corrected most of the mistakes that I made last week,” said Nyabera.
Nyabera was undone by her backhand, and Nkatha took full advantage to score easy points in the match.
“She was more consistent and moved strategically on the court, creating more space to easily hit the ball with her strong front hand,” Nyabera added.
In another match, Kenya’s Angela Okutoyi teamed up with her twin Roselida Asumwa in the doubles category to beat Mariana Borges from Brazil who teamed up with Adi Gavish of Israel 7-6, (2), 6-4 score.
“I’m excited to have won our first doubles match together in such a tournament,” said Okutoyi.
Similarly, Alicia Owegi and Shania Kaur Gadhi teamed up to beat their compatriots Mary Wachira and Cynthia Wanjala 6-0, 6-1 in another doubles match.
“It was a good game. We executed our game plan well and relied on our strategy to win. We clearly had fun on the court because in a doubles match, you have more support from your partner compared to a singles match,” said Kaur.
But Nkatha and Nyabera lost their doubles match 5-7, 6-2, 10-5 against Deeksha Manju Prasad and Avika Sagwal of India. Second round matches will be played on Wednesday.