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French Open Juniors: Kenya's tennis sensation Okutoyi down but not out

The first Kenyan female to win a grand slam juniors Angela Okutoyi training in Nairobi to further her stint in pro tennis ahead of the French Open and Wimbledon respectively. April 29, 2022. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Kenya’s tennis sensation Angella Okutoyi on Monday bowed out of the Roland Garros (French Open Juniors) Singles Girls with her head high.

She had started her campaign off on the right footing, hitting Belgian Angie van Impe by straight sets in the first round on Sunday.

The 18-year-old put up a brave fight against top-ranked Petra Marcinko in the second round at the Stade Roland Garros in France on Monday.

Okutoyi, who is the 2018 Kenya Open queen, went down two straight sets 6-2, 6-4 against the Croatian top-seeded in the 59 minutes play.

 Okutoyi, who occupies position 66 on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior rankings, was let down by five double-faults against two for the Croatian and winning returns as well as her first serves.

It was always going to be a tall order for 18-year-old Okutoyi against the top-ranked Marcinko, 16, who has now won 100 matches, including her last 14.

On the other hand, Okutoyi, whose idol is American great Serena Williams, has registered 82 wins and 46 losses.

The LG/SJAK Sports personality of the month of January had gone toe to toe with Marcinko in the second set before letting the grip go at 3-3.

Okutoyi, made a mark by reaching the third round of the Australian Open Juniors in January this year,

Okutoyi, who is ranked n 2021 Africa Under-18 champion, took part in the 2022 Australian Open Juniors bracket, winning against Italian qualifier Federica Urgesi in three sets in the first round, and she continued her form against Australian qualifier Zara Larke in the second round, winning in three sets.

She lost in her third-round match against Serbian player Lola Radivojevic 6-3 6-2, but her performance made her the first Kenyan in the world to progress to the third round in a Grand Slam.

Angie started her Roland Garros campaign by dethroning Belgian Amelie Van Impe 7-6(6), 6-4 in the first round on Sunday before going down today (Monday).

She now focus her eyes on another junior grand slam tournament in Wimbledon, in the UK come July.

Okutoyi who has ITF Junior Finals, Singles: 9 (6 titles, 3 runner-ups) with Doubles (11 titles, 5 runner-ups)