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SPORTS

It’s over as Angela Okutoyi exits in third round

TENNIS By Mike Kihaki | January 26th 2022 | 2 min read
Kenya's Angela Okutoyi in action during the 2022 Australian Junior Open Championship at Melbourne Park. [Australian Open]

After marking two consecutive milestones advancing to the third round of the Australian Open Junior Championships at Melbourne Park, Kenya's Angela Okutoyi star was brought down to a disappointing end in the round of 16 (R3).

Okutoyi lost in straight sets to Serbia’s Lola Radivojevic in her match played on Wednesday morning.

The African U18 champion exits the stage as the first Kenyan woman to make a maiden appearance in the third round in singles of any event at a Grand Slam.

For the first time since the tournament started, Angella sailed through her opponents in the first and second rounds but failed to engage another gear losing the opening set 6-2, 6-3 against Lola Radivojevic. 

If her start to the game was anything to go by, everything pointed to a difficult battle of what lay in store for the African U18 tennis champion.

After winning the toss to get things underway, Okutoyi immediately lost her serve as a charging Radivojevic made her statement of intent. 

Buoyed by the first two wins against Federica Urgesi and Zara Larke, Okutoyi immediately got the break back as she levelled things at 1-1.

The Kenya junior tennis champion Okutiyi continued with her superlative performance after beating Zara Larke 7-6 (7), 5-7 and 6-1 in the second round to storm into the third round.

The precedent had already been set though and Okutoyi’s serve was broken again twice, in her third and fourth service game, as Radivojevic closed out the first set 6-2.

As had been her Achilles heel in the first set, Okutoyi failed to hold her serves as she was broken in her opening two games as the Serb raced to a 4-0 lead in the second set.

Despite managing to get one break back to take the scores to 4-2 for a moment, the writing was already on the wall as poor service would come to haunt the 17-year-old as Radivojevic broke her for a third time to take the second set 6-3 and seal the 6,2, 6-3 win.

She tried to dig deeper into her arsenal, got her serve broken three times in that first set.

?Australian Open Junior Championship Results

Round One: Angella Okutoyi 6-4, 6(5)-7, 6-3 Federica Urgesi

Round Two: Angella Okutoyi 7-6(0), 5-7, 6-1

Round Three: Angella Okutoyi 2-6, 3-6 Lola Radivojevic 

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