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Okutoyi to focus on singles category in US junior Open

Okutoyi said she wants to try her luck in singles despite her great win in doubles in Wimbledon last week.

In Summary

•The US Junior Open will be played on hard court, which Okutoyi is familiar with,  having played at the Australian Open in January.

•"I am confident I have acclimatized to the surface and I will be relishing the challenge," —Okutoyi. 

Angela Okutoyi during the 2022 Junior Australian Open
Angela Okutoyi during the 2022 Junior Australian Open
Image: Australian Open

Wimbledon junior doubles champion Angela Okutoyi says she will focus on the singles category at the US Junior Open in September.

In an interview at Moi Stadium, Kasarani, Okutoyi said she wants to try her luck in singles despite her great win in doubles in Wimbledon last week.

‘‘It’s only in Wimbledon that I did not play in singles because I was not feeling well. At first, I did not know that I was good at doubles until I won Wimbledon. I believe what I did in the doubles is what I will do in singles," she said. 

The US Junior Open will be played on hard court, which Okutoyi is familiar with,  having played at the Australian Open in January.

"I am confident I have acclimatized to the surface and I will be relishing the challenge," added Okutoyi. 

The country's youngest Kenya Open champion will first play in two build-up tournaments in Monastir, Tunisia and Egypt next month in readiness for the US Junior Open 

‘‘Now that I have gotten used to it, I have the courage that I will shine in whatever event comes my way," she said.

Okutoyi participated in the 2022 Australian Open, where she defeated Italian qualifier Federica Urgesi  6-4, 6-7 (5), and 6-3 in the first round. She continued her form against Australian qualifier Zara Larke  7-6, 5-7, 6-1 in the second round, winning in three sets.

She later lost in her third-round match against Serbian player Lola Radivojević 6-3, 6-2, but her performance made her the first Kenyan in the world to progress to the third round in a Grand Slam.

At Wimbledon, Okutoyi won the girls' doubles title with Rose Marie Nijkamp of the Netherlands beating Canadians Kayla Cross and Victoria Mboko 3-6, 6-4, 11-9 in the final.

The 18-year-old called on fellow tennis players and officials to fly the Kenyan flag high and emulate how Kenyan athletes have done the country proud since time immemorial.

‘‘Just like athletics is supported, we need the same support in tennis. I would also like to see other Kenyans out there winning. It’s sad that in a big draw of 64, you only see one Kenyan while in other countries, there are like five players," she noted. 

‘‘I hope the government through the Ministry of Sports and well-wishers can come out and support us because that is what we lack, ’’she added. 

The champion noted that the Wimbledon win was dedicated to her family and to everyone that has supported her ever since she was young.

‘‘Okutoyi is a girl who lives with her grandmother, having lost her mum while she was young. She has big dreams and she is always fighting and looking forward to winning as many Grand Slams as possible. The Wimbledon win was dedicated to my family and to everyone that had supported me ever since I was young,’’ he said.

She went on to discourage athletes againsdt doping since it will only lead to their downfall and end of careers.

"I hope people out there don’t dope. I have been tested multiple times and I have been negative. I hope to stay clean. Doping will only destroy you,’’ she said. 

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