News that tennis sensation Serena Williams wants a leg of the Women Tennis Association (WTA) played in Kenya could not have come at a better time. She told BBC early this week that she would love to play in Kenya expressing her fondness for the country she visited in 2008 and 2010. The government and Tennis Kenya must therefore strive to do everything possible to ensure that when it does happen, we are ready to host Serena and other international tennis stars.
The government could start by building playing courts on the designated land at Kasarani. The land has been idle for long and has attracted grabbers who seeing no development have been eyeing a piece of it. Without modern courts, hosting a WTA leg will remain just a pipe dream. Tennis Kenya must also work extra hard to attract big sponsors to the sport. The association will need Sh90 million in prize money to host a leg of the event.
This is not small money, but they can get it if they put their act together. We are also fortunate that Kenya has been picked to host the Davis Cup later in the year and this can be used as preparation towards hosting a WTA leg. Hosting a WTA event, which will be the first in Africa, would be a major boost for the country’s sport as well as tourism.