Kenya beat Algeria in Davis Cup tie

By Clement Wekulo: Friday, September 13th 2019 at 12:14 GMT +3 | Tennis
Team Kenya's Kevin Cheruiyot during the 2019 Edition of Davis Cup Africa Group III at Nairobi club on Wednesday, Sept 11, 2019. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Kenya registered their second win in the Davis Cup Africa Group III after beating Algeria 2-1 at the Nairobi Club yesterday. 

Following Kevin Cheruiyot’s loss and Ismael Changawa’s win against his Algerian counterpart, the doubles event served as a decider with the top-ranked Kenyan Changawa and Ibrahim Kibet teaming up to win in split sets of 6-4, 6-7, 6-4.

The Kenya and Algeria contest brought together two sides who had won their opening matches against Madagascar and Benin on Wednesday. Kenya’s Kevin Cheruiyot battled his North African counterpart Youcef Rihane in the opening rubber which he lost in split sets of 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-3.

Having won the first set through a tie-break, Cheruiyot allowed Rihane to tie the scores in the second set before the 19-year-old Algerian claimed the third.

“It’s been a tough day. I think I played really well but unfortunately, I could not get the win. I came back stronger in the third set but I just failed to take my chances and that proved costly,” Cheruiyot said.

Cheruiyot, who beat Madagascar’s Lucas Andriamasilalao in straight sets on Tuesday, exuded confidence that Kenya will meet their target of qualifying for the 2020 Davis Cup Euro/Africa Group II.

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“Our dream has always been to take Kenya to the next stage of the competition. It’s been so long since Allan Cooper and the rest got us to Group II. We have got the advantage of playing at home and the support is helpful. I believe we are better prepared than last year because we were supported by the Government and Federation to participate in various international tournaments,” he said.

Ismael Changawa would, however, save Kenya’s blushes as he put up a gallant fight to dismiss Nazim Makhlouf 6-4, 7-5. Leading by three games in the second set, the Algerian, who had lost the opening set, was well poised to level matters but Changawa rallied to prevail in straight sets.

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