Rwanda Tennis Federation (RTF) President Théoneste Karenzi said hosting International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournaments in Rwanda is a development that provides greater visibility for local players,
Rwanda is hosting a junior ITF tournament which kicked off on Saturday, February 12 in Kigali, bringing together 83 junior tennis players from 33 countries across different continents.
The countries represented in the competition are: Australia, Burundi, Belgium, Canada, Cameroon, Egypt, Spain, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Kenya, South Korea, Morocco, Romania, Africa South, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Serbia, Switzerland, Slovakia, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States.
Speaking about what it means for Rwanda to host the showpiece, Karenzi said:
“As a country, we are very happy to host this tournament as we believe it will give our players more visibility and confidence to play against other professionals around the world. This tournament also fits well into the Meetings Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (Mice) agenda of our country.
He added, “This event, as well as future ones, will help raise the profile of Rwandan tennis and these international tournaments provide the perfect platform for upcoming players to show off their talent,” added Karenzi.
Aurore Mimosa Munyangaju, Rwandan Minister of Sports, called the tournament a great opportunity for tennis and sports in Rwanda.
“This tournament represents an opportunity for Rwanda to earn a special place in the hearts of tennis fans around the world. The excellent teamwork between us and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has made this significant achievement possible.” , she noted.
On Monday of this week, the competition headed to the main draw in the first round.
Here, 61 players remained in the tournament including 7 Rwandan players (4 boys and 3 girls).
Rwandan players are; Delphin Iradukunda, Claude Ishimwe, Emmanuel Manishimwe, Gentil Munyekuzo, Kelia Keza, Shema Mbaruru and Carine Nishimwe.