Okutoyi sets eye on French Open, Wimbledon challenge

Tuesday, April 26th, 2022 00:12 | By
Tennis player Agela Okutoyi trains at Nairobi Club on Sunday. PHOTO/Edwin Otieno

Kenya’s teenage female tennis sensation Angella Okutoyi is preparing to play in her second and third Grand Slam tournaments, the French Open and Wimbledon, as she continues her charge up the world rankings.

Okutoyi, 18, became the first Kenyan female to win a junior match at a Grand Slam on her Australian Open debut in January. She is aiming at making more history at Roland Garros during the May 22-June 5 tournament in Paris, before crossing the border to play at London’s All England Club when the third Grand Slam of 2022 serves off in Wimbledon on June 27.

“I will play two weeks in Italy then one week in France at the French Open. My aim is to collect as many points as I can in Italy to increase my rankings. My expectations for the French Open is to make it to the semis and if possible, even win a grand slam,” Okutoyi told reporters on Sunday after featuring in an exhibition fundraiser in Nairobi.

Okutoyi has used continental events in Morocco and Egypt in the recent past to prepare for the tournaments. She is due to travel for a camp organized by the International Tennis Federation where she will train in Italy for two weeks.

In the run-up to the French Open, Okutoyi is scheduled to play in two WTA events in Europe. Afterwards, the Kenyan starlet will go to a week-long camp to familiarize herself with the grass playing surface used at Wimbledon.

“Our plan going to the Australian Open was just to go learn and get a feel of the international standards but now we go into the Roland Garros we know what to do at that level. We believe Angella will be in good hands with the ITF team which she has previously worked with, and she will move to the top twenties hopefully,” her coach Francis Rogoi said. Okutoyi is set to play in the U.S. Open in September.

At her debut Grand Slam in Australia, Okutoyi defeated 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.                    

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