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By AYUMBA AYODI
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Guy Iradukunda from Burundi and Madagascar’s Narindra Ranaivo are the new Karen Open Tennis Championships men’s and women’s champions.

Iradukunda easily upset top-seeded defending champion, Kenya’s Ismael Changawa, in straight sets of 6-1, 6-2 in Sunday’s final that saw Changawa call for a medical time-out in the second set to treat his left shoulder.

Ranaivo stunned top-seeded Sneha Kotecha from Kenya in split sets of 6-4, 3-6 and 7-5 to win the women’s title in a thrilling final that saw Kotecha blow away three match points in the last set to lose.

Iradukunda rued Changawa’s injury saying it impeded a good showdown even though he came to Nairobi well prepared for the battle.

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“I didn’t know what to expect since we had not met for two years. I didn’t know what Changawa was thinking but I knew he will put in his best and unfortunately an injury crept in,” said the 21-year-old Iradukunda, who has just completed his college in the Florida, USA where he majored on Sociology.

“After the holidays break, I will resume with Futures tournaments in January.”

Changawa said a shoulder injury he sustained during the semi-finals where he outclassed fellow Kenyan Sheil Kotecha 6-3, 6-0 ruined his chances of retaining the title.



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