Angela Okutoyi in action against Tunisia's Chiraz Bechri. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Kenya rallied from a match down to beat Tunisia 2-1 on Tuesday at the ongoing Billie Jean King Cup Africa Group III contest at Nairobi Club.

The Kenyans regained their footing thanks to Angela Okutoyi’s spirited fight in the second rubber that saw her break the tie to edge out Chiraz Bechri and level the score going into the decisive doubles match.

Kenya’s opening rubber did not go as planned as Cynthia Wanjala struggled against Ranim Rassil succumbing to a 6-2, 6-4 loss to give the Tunisians a 1-0 lead.

Wanjala seemed to be having a bad day in the office as she made unforced errors with double faults being her major undoing.

Okutoyi who anchored Kenya to victory said that enjoying the game and not focusing on negative thoughts helped her secure the wins.

“I chose not to focus a lot on us trailing our opponents and enjoyed the game. All I wanted was to play and have fun instead of worrying so much about the outcome of the match and it did work out,” Okutoyi said.

She added that they didn’t struggle much in the doubles tie because of the chemistry between her and Wanjala.

“When we partner in doubles we don’t worry because she trusts me to cover her and vice versa, so we just have fun and win while at it. We achieved our objective of the day and we now focus on our encounter against Burundi.”

Africa Games champion Okutoyi played like the champion she is against a resilient Bechri who made her work harder for the victory.

Okutoyi would revive Kenya’s hopes of a win by taking the first set 6-3. However, Bechri not ready to go down without a proper fight would trouble Okutoyi in the second set to force a tie-breaker.

Okutoyi would hold the nerve to break the tie 11-9 and level matters 1-1 and set the stage for a decisive doubles clash. 

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