Kenya’s Nikita Dawda kept the country’s flag blowing by reaching the finals of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) 18 and under junior championships in the singles and doubles categories at Nairobi Club on friday morning.

The tournament brings together 90 players drawn from 29 countries across the World. Africa is represented by host Kenya, Egypt, South Africa, Rwanda, Burundi and Namibia.
Nikita seeded second in the girls main draw booked a place in the girls’ singles final with a 6-0, 7-5 semi-final win against Italian Alessandra Gisonna. “The match was tough but my confidence has grown with each passing game and I think that’s what helped me win today,” said the 16 year old Nikita a Hillcrest school student

The two players employed a more tactical approach in the game, with Nikita returning the hard serves from a tensed Gisonna.

The Kenyan will face the top seed Anastasiya Shestakova of Ukraine who overcame Kasandra Kozub of Poland 6-0, 6-1 in the other semi final match.
Nikita teamed up with Joanna Savva from Cyprus beat Latvia’s Anastasija Homutova and Mia Smith of Germany 7-6 (5), 6-2 to cruise to the finals.
The girls’ final match is scheduled for saturday Feb 4th at 10.00am. Nikita emerged as Kenya’s only hope after her avoiding a growing list of Kenyans reduced to mere spectators in their own country after four girls, Michele Onyancha, Alavas Wahome, Gloria Chelangat, Stephanie Mbaya and the only boy, Ibrahim Kibet who were all bundled out in the
preliminaries stages.

Nikita, needed two hours, 25 minutes to knock out Joanna Savva of Cyprus who is ranked sixth by the ITF in the girls’ singles quarter final played on Thursday to book a place in the semi finals with a 6-4 6-1 sets win.

Gisonna defeated Ann- Christin Nilsson (Germany) 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 in the other quarter finals. Kozub qualified to the girls’ singles semi final after beating, Russian Victoria Voinova with 6-3, 7-5 sets.

In the boys’ category, Julian Turosienski of Poland overcame Italian Francesco Carenza 6-4, 6-0 in the first semi final. Tommaso Evangelisti beat Ludovico Scerrati 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (7) to reach the finals in an all Italian semi final.

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