Kenyan tennis stars looking forward to Africa Junior Under-18 Championship

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-06 21:21:55|Editor: Lu Hui
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NAIROBI, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Angela Okutoyi and Albert Njogu hope to use their experience from the Africa Youth Games when they lead the Kenya team to next month's Africa Junior Under-18 Championship, which will be held in Marrakesh, Morocco.

The duo were part of the Kenya team that competed in Algeria in June last year, and hope to perform well in Marrakesh, where Africa's best 64 players will meet for the tournament, which runs from March 12 to 17.

Kenya Open champion Okutoyi has been dominant, winning the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Africa Junior Championships which took place in Algiers in August last year.

"I feel am improving and the task ahead is not simple. But it is a challenge I look forward to and I hope to do well and win Kenya a medal," said Okutoyi on Wednesday.

The Kenyans have been in top form this season, starting it by winning the International Junior Championships in Nairobi.

Okutoyi, seeded top, beat Algeria's Bouchra Mebarki 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 to clinch the title. Okutoyi added the ITF U-18 tournament in Burundi in June, which saw her join the ITF World Tour team that enabled her to tour France, Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic for five weeks in July and August.

She also had a stint in Florida at the prestigious Nick Bollettieri Academy and played at the Orange Bowl tennis tournament.

The young Kenyan hopes she will clinch the Africa Under-18 title in Marrakesh.

"At this level, you don't expect to get an easy opponent. Everyone has the target to win and it will be a competitive tournament for everyone. However, I have the firm belief that my training and experience will help me dominate against my rivals. My target is to win the championship," added Okutoyi.

Albert Njogu, who lost to Hungary's Peter Sallay 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the ITF World Tour leg, expressed confidence that he has regained his form and is keen to step up his quest for the continental title.

"My play has improved tremendously and I want to face the best on the continent," he added.

The duo will be part of the Kenya team preparing for the Euro/Africa David Cup Zone II, which will be played next month.

Last week, Okutoyi lost out in the ITF World Tour leg, where she was beaten by Salma Loudili of Morocco 6-3, 7-5 during the ongoing Kenya International Junior Championships in Nairobi.

"It was a tough match but I learned my lessons from it and I want to move on to the next event," added Okutoyi.