Home girl Sneha Kotecha beat Nairobi-based Madagascan Narindra Ranaivo 6-3,7-5 to punch her way into the semi finals of the ongoing International Tennis Federation (ITF) East Africa Junior circuit at Nairobi Club.
It was business as usual for Sneha as she once again survived a third set scare from the Madagascan, who is based at the ITF Centre in Nairobi, to inch closer to her fourth junior crown this year.
Sneha showed early intentions to qualify as she took a four-game lead in the opening set before Ranaivo leapt back to the game, pulling two games back to trail her opponent by a game.]
Fortune swung in Sneha’s favour in the subsequent game to move to a point shy of clinching the first set but had to wait a bit longer as Ranaivo stepped up her bid to catch up, winning the eighth game of the set. However, she could not maintain the rhythm as Sneha sealed the first set from the ninth game.
Things were, however, not rosy for the home girl in the second set as Ranaivo staged an improved game, battling going neck and neck with Sneha to push the match to a nervous five-all draw but she succumbed in the tie break. Following the win,Sneha will face Stephanie Auir of Austria in the last four.
In other matches played at the same venue, there was a massive upset as top seeded girl Aisha Niyonkuru of Burundi lost 2-6,7-5 and 6-1 to Sofia Pizoni of Italy to bid farewell to the tournament.
In the boys’ category, top seed Sina Moghimi of Ireland eased into the semis after flooring Dragos Petre 6-4,6-2.Third seed Peter Sallay of Hungary also proceeded tothe last four after beating Thijmen Loof of Netherlands 7-5,6-2.