•The three Kenyan opponents were stronger from the word go, reducing their hosts to chasing the wind.
•Nkatha struggled against Polish opponent with the match taking barely 50 minutes.
Kenya’s fairy-tale in the ongoing International Tennis Federation (ITF) World Tennis Tour came to an end yesterday as all three remaining local were knocked out in the second round of the second leg at the Peponi School, Ruiru.
Angela Okutoyi led Judy Nkatha and the ‘baby’ of the tournament, Cynthia Wanjala, out of the two-week event after losing in straight sets against stronger opposition.
Okutoyi fell 6-2, 6-4 to India’s Shivani Chikalapudi while Nkatha was tossed out of the event by seventh seed Jastrzebska Paulina of Poland 6-0, 6-2. Wanjala succumbed to fourth seed Lexie Stevens of Netherlands 6-1, 6-0.
The three Kenyan opponents were stronger from the word go, reducing their hosts to chasing the wind. Okutoyi, who was the country’s main hope by the virtue of being Kenya’s top player in the event, started off well but lost the plot entirely immediately her opponents settled into the match. The Kenyan was down 5-0 in the set before winning two games in a row. However, the Indian closed the loopholes to seal the game. The second set was equally contested with Okutoyi taking a 4-2 lead at one point. However, her opponent bounced back to end her resurgence.
Nkatha struggled against Polish opponent with the match taking barely 50 minutes. Nkatha looked tired in the entire match and never tried to fight. However, it was Wanjala who carried the day, winning a number of fans with her remarkable show against the Dutch despite the defeat.
Unknown to many compared to the other Kenyans in the event, 14-year-old Wanjala who joined the counterparts at the event at the start of the second leg, made headlines after beating Brazilian Galvoa Borges to make it into the second round. “I think Wanjala is at a different level. To be honest, she’s capable and ready,” said national tennis team head coach Patrick Wachira.