A total 160 players will compete in the third edition of the annual COGEBANK Tennis Open tournament that starts today at Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) tennis courts.
The ten-day competition will run through October 21.
This year’s tournament gets underway with the juniors and amateurs categories while the seniors (main) event, that has attracted elite players from DR Congo, Burundi and hosts Rwanda, will be kicking off on Monday.
The tournament is organised by CSK Tennis Club is partnership with COGEBANK.
Some of the country’s top players such as Hamis Gatete, Olivier Havugimana, Dieudone Habiyambere and Etienne Niyigena as well as Burundian Issa Cyuma will use the tournament as part of their preparations for upcoming international tournaments.
Of the 160 players, 64 will feature in the veterans category while the juniors, professional men and women’s categories will be contested by 32 players, each.
It is understood that the main sponsors, Cogeback, have pumped Rwf8m in the tournament.
According to the head of the organisers, Placide Karangire, this year’s showpiece will be bigger and more competitive than the last two editions.
“Everything is in place and we look forward to a successful and competitive tournament. We want to keep this competition as an annual event, local tennis needs more competitions and this is how we want to contribute to the growth and development of Rwandan tennis.”
Winners in professional categories (men and women) will be pocketed Rwf350,000 each.
In the men’s competition, the event’s main segment, Olivier Havugimana won the inaugural edition in 2016 while youngster Ernest Habiyambere claimed last year’s title.