Kenya in chase for Davis Cup honours

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019 00:00 |
Kenya’s Ishmael Changawa trains at Nairobi Tennis Courts for the Davis Cup which kicks off today. Photo/PD/PHILIP KAMAKYA

Kenya begins her mission in the Davis Cup Africa zone Group Three today against Madagascar at Nairobi Club following a draw done by tournament supervisor Anton Rens of South Africa.

The round-robin tournament will see teams play three matches a day; two single events and a doubles match.

For Kenya, it is an opportunity to prove doubting critics after ITF Governing Council made changes on rules of the tournament which meant Kenya and Namibia who had qualified for Group  Two last year.

Kenya coach Rosemary Owino was full of promise suggesting the team are well prepared for the four-day championships.

“I feel we have just about enough in readying the players for this important assignment. Each and every member of the team understands what they bring in and as such we expect some good results just like last year.

I am grateful for the ample preparations we had in Morocco and Spain but what is important is the team need support,” she told People Sport.

Team Kenya will comprise Ishmael Changawa, Ibrahim Kibet, Kevin Cheruiyot and upstart Albert Njogu, who recently graduated from junior tennis. Sheil Kotecha is currently on tour on ATP assignments and thus could not make the cut but coach Owino believes there is no void. 

“I want to emphasise that all players are in the team by merit. 

I have confidence and faith in each and every one of them. I know there could be doubts about Njogu who is making his debut but I trust that he can handle the stage well,” added Owino, who described the draw as “good enough”.

However, she has to contend with a strong challenge from last year’s third-placed side Benin, who have brought along their experienced talisman Alexis Klegou, set to renew the age-old rivalry with local hero Ishmael Changawa.

Aside from Benin, top ranked Kenya is drawn in Group B alongside Algeria and Madagascar. Group A has two of the other tournament favourites including Tunisia and Namibia alongside Nigeria and Mozambique.

More on Other sports