Rwanda Men’s Tennis Team Faces Relegation to Africa Group V

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Rwanda relegated to Davis Cup Africa Group V.
Lost 2-1 to Angola in relegation playoff.
Ernest Habiyambere won first singles match.
Senegal and Algeria promoted to Africa Group III.

The Rwanda men’s tennis team has been relegated to Davis Cup Africa Group V following a narrow 2-1 defeat to host nation Angola in a relegation playoff on Saturday, June 22. This loss marks a significant setback for the team, which has struggled throughout the tournament.

Tournament Overview

The Davis Cup tournament took place at the Academia de Tenis Kikuxi Villas Club in Luanda, Angola, beginning on Wednesday, June 19, and concluding on Saturday, June 22. The competition included eight nations: Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda in Group B, and Algeria, Senegal, Cameroon, and host nation Angola in Group A. The tournament’s format was a round-robin, where the top two teams from each group advanced to the promotion playoffs, and the bottom two teams faced relegation playoffs.

Rwanda’s Challenging Journey

Rwanda’s journey in the tournament was fraught with difficulties. The team ended the tournament without a single victory, culminating in the relegation playoff against Angola. The decisive match on Saturday initially looked promising for Rwanda, as Ernest Habiyambere secured a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Angola’s Andre Fernando in the first singles tie. This win gave Rwanda a brief glimmer of hope.

However, Angola quickly retaliated. Daniel Domingos defeated Rwanda’s Junior Hakizumwami in the second singles tie with a commanding 6-2, 6-2 win. This result tied the encounter, forcing a doubles match to determine the outcome of the playoff.

Heartbreaking Doubles Defeat

The doubles match proved to be a turning point for Rwanda. The pair of Ernest Habiyambere and Etienne Niyigena struggled against the Angolan duo of Andre Chris Lukanu and Andre Fernando. The Rwandan team lost the match 6-3, 6-4, leading to their relegation to Group V effective in 2025. The loss was a bitter end to their campaign, highlighting the need for improvement in future tournaments.

Promotion and Relegation Outcomes

While Rwanda faced relegation, other teams experienced different fortunes. Senegal and Algeria secured promotion to Africa Group III after winning their respective promotion playoffs. Senegal triumphed over the Democratic Republic of Congo with a 2-0 victory, and Algeria edged out Burundi 2-1. These victories highlight the competitive nature of the tournament and the varied outcomes for the participating nations.

Insights and Future Prospects

The relegation of Rwanda to Group V underscores the challenges the team faces on the international stage. The defeat serves as a wake-up call for the Rwandan Tennis Federation to reassess their strategies and development programs. Investing in grassroots tennis, providing better training facilities, and seeking international exposure for players could be crucial steps towards improving their performance in future competitions.

Moreover, the tournament’s format and competitive structure emphasize the importance of consistent performance throughout the event. For Rwanda, focusing on building a more resilient and adaptable team will be essential. Learning from the experiences of teams like Senegal and Algeria, who managed to secure promotion, could provide valuable insights into effective preparation and execution.


Ernest Habiyambere’s Strong Start: Habiyambere won the first singles match against Angola’s Andre Fernando with scores of 6-3, 6-4.

Junior Hakizumwami’s Struggle: Hakizumwami was defeated by Angola’s Daniel Domingos, losing the match 6-2, 6-2, tying the playoff.

Doubles Disappointment: Rwanda’s Habiyambere and Niyigena lost the decisive doubles match 6-3, 6-4 to Angola’s Lukanu and Fernando.

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