Serena hopes for Kenyan WTA leg
Tennis sensation Serena Williams has expressed her desire to play a Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour event in Kenya.
Williams, who spoke about plans to set up a WTA Tour event in Africa for the first time, told BBC Sport that this was something she had “thought about”.
“It is something I have thought about and would like to keep thinking about it. I’m glad you brought it up because I think it would be amazing.”
“It would be so fun – the help that we could do, and the awareness and the athletes and the amazing players that would come out of Africa would just be unbelievable.”
The WTA Tour is an elite professional tennis circuit organised by the WTA.
Serena said she was preparing to return to the WTA Tour six months after giving birth. She is a 23-time Grand Slam singles champion.
She said Kenya was where she would want the event to take place, adding “it’s one of my favourite places to go, so why not?”
Serena has visited Kenya twice before. The first time was in 2008 and then two years later.
In 2010, she opened her second school, Serena Williams Secondary in Matiliku, Makueni.
In November 2008, she commissioned her first school under the same name in Matooni, about 50km from the newer school.
News of Serena’s possible visit to Kenya has elicited excitement and Tennis Kenya secretary Wanjiru Mbugua said it could not have come at a better time.
“We are very excited by the news and it is in line with the efforts we are making to promote the sport,” she said.
“Currently we are in the process of doing a lot of things to promote the sport, including building 11 public courts at Kasarani Stadium. Her visit would be a big motivation for all these efforts,” said Mbugua.
“We have partnered with the Government to build courts at Kasarani and this should be ready in the next few months, then we can be in a position to host such a tournament,” she added.
Williams featured in a Fed Cup doubles match for the United States last month and is scheduled to play at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, which starts this week.
“My expectations, I don’t know what they are,” the 36-year-old American told the BBC.
“I can’t go and say I expect to lose because that is something I will never say. It’s just a little different. I’m just expecting to see where I am more than anything.
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