READY FOR BATTLE?

Okutoyi to spearhead Kenya's charge at Billie Jean King Cup

The team is expected to step up the preparation in the next fortnight before departure.

In Summary

•Okutoyi will have Alicia Owego, Rosehilda Asumwa and Cynthia Cheruto for the company during the five-day championship.

•Team Kenya had a dismal campaign in Lithuania last year, finishing 20th out of 21 countries after losing all of their matches.

 

 

Angela Okutoyi during training
Angela Okutoyi during training
Image: REUTERS

Africa Junior champion Angela Okutoyi will spearhead Team Kenya for the Billie Jean King Cup Group 3 tournament slated for Macedonia next month. 

Okutoyi will have Alicia Owego, Rosehilda Asumwa and Cynthia Cheruto for the company during the five-day championship.

Team Kenya had a dismal campaign in Lithuania last year, finishing 20th out of 21 countries after losing all of their matches.

Kenya lost 3-0 to Algeria, Malta and Zimbabwe before bowing out with a 2-1 loss to Namibia.

Tennis Kenya (TK) administrator, Nancy Nduku, expressed confidence that the team will register better results this time around.

“This time around, we will see a better Kenya performance. Last year, the girls had limited time to prepare but this year, we opted to have them play in the various ITF tournaments to prepare adequately for the tournament,” said Nduku.

Team Kenya face an acid test as they confront 16 other teams including —hosts Macedonia, Albania, Botswana, Burundi, Congo DRC, Iceland, Ireland, Kosovo, Malta, Namibia, and North Macedonia. Others are —Portugal, Seychelles, South Africa, Sudan and Uganda.

The round-robin will consist of two groups of four nations.  There will be an eight-team knock-out draw made up of the top teams from each group and the best two placed teams will proceed to the final. Only one team will be promoted.

The team has been preparing at the Nairobi Club for the past month and Owegi said their target will be to win two matches in the group phase.

“Our target will be to win at least two matches and give ourselves a chance of finishing higher than last year,” said Owegi. 

The team is expected to leave in the last week of June to acclimatize to the warm conditions expected in Macedonia. Okutoyi, who has played in the junior Australian Open and French Open is expected to play at the Wimbledon Junior Championship too.

The team is expected to step up the preparation in the next fortnight before departure.

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