Changawa to lead Kenya’s quest for Davis Cup glory

By The Standard: Friday, June 15th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Tennis

Kenya’s top seed Ismael Changawa will lead a team of five players to this year’s Davis Cup Africa Zone Group III tournament that begins on Monday at Nairobi Club.

At stake is a promotion to the Euro Africa Group II Division.

Kenya, who are ranked second in the tournament behind Benin, will be up against eight other nations in the six-day event.

Others in the team are Sheil Kotecha, Ibrahim Kibet, Kevin Cheruiyot and Albert Njogu. Kenya will be seeking to improve on last year’s performance where they lost to Zimbabwe in the playoffs.

A buoyant team captain Rosemary Owino said that his charges had done well in training and were in fine form and ready for the challenge.

The trio of Changawa, Kotecha and Kibet played at the 2017 challenge staged in Egypt while Cheruiyot last featured in 2016 in Madagascar. Njogu will be hoping to excel as he makes his Davis Cup debut.

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“They have undergone intensive training in preparation for the games and I’m confident they will perform well. They have also gained experience playing in various tournament and I believe that exposure will yield good results,” Owino said.

Benin and Kenya who are ranked one and two are in Group A and B respectively. Uganda and Rwanda as well, Algeria, Benin, Cameroon, Mozambique, Namibia and Nigeria will also be chasing a promotion in Nairobi.

All the nine teams have confirmed their participation and will be jetting in the country from today.

They will clash in the round robin format to determine the two top teams in each pool. These four shall then battle it out in the playoffs.

Tennis Kenya has received support of the Kenyan Government through the Ministry of Sports and Heritage who have come in with a Sh2.5m sponsorship as well as Magical Kenya who are pumping in a half a million.