It's showtime as Okutoyi leads Kenyans in global showpiece today

Kenya's Angela Okutoyi in action during the W15 Nairobi World Tennis Tour last year. [Kelly Ayodi, Standard]

When the prestigious Billie Jean King Cup Africa Group III tournament serves off today at the Nairobi Club, all eyes will be trained on one thing; to conquer rivals.

With many world beaters looking for glory in the global showpiece, there will be no room for error.

Kenyans' focus will be Wimbledon girls doubles champion Angella Okutoyi who has pledged to give her local fans a sumptuous menu to sample.

Okutoyi is hopeful of displaying all the skills and tactics she has mastered in the game in her short stint in Alabama, US where she is on a fully paid tennis scholarship at Auburn University.

"I have prepared well. I played a lot of tennis while in the USA, which gives me the chance to compete with the best," she told Standard Sports.

Okutoyi will be joined in the fray by her sister Roselida Asumwa, Alicia Owegi and Cynthia Cheruto, who will be out to display their skills in front of friends, family and a legion of home fans.

Should any of the quartet withdraw from the contest, then young Stacy Yego and sensational Melissa Mwakha, who are both on the reserve list, will be ready to fit into their big shoes.

"I'm determined to give my all in the tournament. I'll play some good tennis to excite and entertain my fans as I forage for victory," Owegi, who is also based in Alabama, said.

The Kenyan players said they are comfortable with the newly upgraded Nairobi Club tennis courts that have all been converted to clay from murram.

Okutoyi also insists she is not intimidated by the names that have confirmed participation in the tournament, saying globetrotting the world to play the game in high profile meets has given her enough exposure.

Kenyan captain Francis Rogoi has tipped his line up to go far in the clashes, which are expected to be mouthwatering, saying the curated squad was chosen on merit.

"We have done all which was to be done in our three-week residential camp at Nairobi Club and the team is ready to roar," said Rogoi.

Moroccan squad arrived on Thursday, while Mauritius, Zimbabwe and Seychelles landed on Friday.

Botswana, Ghana, Namibia, Tunisia and Uganda came on Saturday, while Burundi was expected to arrive yesterday.

"Our motivation to host this event is to celebrate the women who are in tennis. The Kenya women's tennis team is so disciplined," tournament director Wanjiru Karani said.

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