The hunt of a double by the Kotecha siblings and the country at large in the ongoing ITF Nairobi Junior Open ended tragically after the two were dumped out the tournament in their respective semi-finals yesterday at Nairobi Club.
After flying high in the preliminary rounds and the subsequent quarters, the siblings Sheil and Sneha came into the semis as the only remaining Kenyan representatives but succumbed to Pablo Schelcher and Mavie Osterreicher respectively.
Top Kenyan seed Sheil Kotecha, who had earlier on complained of back pains before his clash with Schelcher, could not replicate the form he displayed in the first leg of the championships as he only claimed three games in the first set to lose the set 3-6.
An entertaining game ensued in the second set with the two exchanging leads with the set lasting for more than an hour. The Spaniard emerged victorious after picking wins in the last two games to win the set 7-5. Kotecha attributed his exit to the injury set-back saying: “I had some back pains which worked against my plan. He was strong in both halves with strong serves. I wish him all the best in the final.”
The win for Schelcher saw him set a date with Abdallah Fouad of Egypt who eliminated Madhwin Kamath of India in sets of 7-5,7-5. Fouad will be on a mission to revive himself after losing the first leg of the championships in the final.
In the girls category, Sneha Kotecha succumbed to Mavie Osterreicher of Australia in sets of 6-4,6-3 to sail to the final. Kotecha found it hard to contain the left-handed Aussie in both sets, sending her returns wide a result which orchestrated her bow out. The lanky Osterreicher will play Vineetha Mummadi of India, who saw off Charlotte Navin-Weinstein of Great Britain in sets of 6-0,6-4 to sail to the final. The winner of the championships will amass thirty points to his/her name consequently improving their positions on the international ranking.