Kenyan duo on European tennis tour
Over the last few weeks, two Kenyan tennis players traveling with Coach Caroline Oduor have been on a tour of the European tournament circuit.
The two, Ryan Ateto Randiek and Sneha Kotecha are traversing Europe getting the much-needed experience and match practice.
Paris was the first port of call for the duo where they played at the BNP Paribas Cup – Open de Juenes Stade Fraincaise.
Kotecha was a first round casualty going down to 15th seeded French girl Giulia Morlet in straight sets. Randiek, however, got a better start, winning his first round match against another home player in Maxime du Bouch, 6-3 6-2.
The second round was however much tougher for Randiek as he found himself on the wrong end of a similar score to his first round match losing to the Chinese and 8th seeded Xiaofei Wang .
It was a promising debut for Randiek who also won his first round doubles partnering Alexandre de Villepin (FRA) before a second round loss to a third ranked Argentine combination.
Coach Oduor and her charges next stopped in Velp, Netherlands for the Windmill Cup on the 9th of July where this time, Kotecha won her first match, beating Elysin Pool in her home country before losing out to fifth seed Ukranian Lyubov Kostenko. Kotecha would fall victim to Kostenko again in the Doubles first round.
Randiek also beat home player Jay Zwinkels in a third set tie break and then picked up an Israeli Doubles partner, Jonathan Baron but had no luck in the two aside format of the game in Velp.
LEVEL OF GAME
Week three of the ongoing tour saw coach and players travel back to France, this time to Nantes and the La Balle Mimosa Loire Atlantique tournament.
First timer Randiek didn’t get a win to his name with Kotecha on the girls side in punishing form against Lucie Brun (FRA) handing down a 6-1 6-0 defeat before the curse of the draw landed her in second seed Giulia Tedesco’s (ITA) draw where the two played a three set match, seeing the higher ranked player win 6-4 in the third.
Germany is the trio’s current location where they two youngsters are playing in the Kreis Duren Junior Tennis Cup.
Coach Oduor says the level of the game in Europe is very high, despite her players putting in some brave performances as the top players from all over Europe, Asia and South America are their current opponents.
She is soaking up the experience, interacting with the more tour hardened coaches and reckons that for Kenya to get to the level that she’s currently watching, a lot needs to be done in terms of strict training regimens, fitness off-court and lots of tournaments played.
From the top coaches there, coach Oduor has found out that the players get in a cool 75-80 high level matches with some young ones getting on the tour as young as twelve years of age.
The experience, she says, is invaluable and she’s definitely looking with a keen eye on what to implement back home when the European tour is over.