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Teen sensation through to third round

By Barry Silah
Wednesday, January 20th, 2021
Angela Okutoyi in past action. Photo/PD/ALEX NDEGWA
In summary

Kenya’s tennis sensation Angela Okutoyi has earned a berth at the third round of the ITF World Tennis Tour Grade 4 Championship after a hard-fought 6-4/6-3 win over French player Shanice Roignot at Nairobi Club yesterday.

Coming hot on the heels of her win in the opening round Monday over another French player Beverly Nyangon, the 16-year-old world no.176 had to dig deep to win the girls singles match against a very dangerous player.

Her biggest win percentage mostly came off her first serve while her unforced errors were her undoing.

The mid-morning match itself had a very offensive approach as both players wanted to settle in.

Okutoyi was quick off the blocks with good rally points rushing to a 3-0 lead before the French opponent came alive with solid shots of her own to subsequently break the ITF centre player for a 3-3 score as the match got intense.

Roignot then settled and played mostly attacking tactics on court and quickly changed to the net to bury winners. 

Okutoyi then had to change tack and twice pass the score of her opponent and finally taking the first set after her final serve was blasted wide by Roignot who did well in taking four games over the rising African star.

The second set was all about minimising mistakes as Okutoyi took charge of proceedings again.

It was all about shifting tempo and controlling the court dominance for the Kenyan as the French opponent struggled to cope.

Despite breaking Okutoyi once, the French player started making a slew of errors especially from her returns while an ambitious Okutoyi got more lethal as she sought to close out the match. 

A couple of good rallies between them ended in a 5-3 lead for Okutoyi who just held her nerve to punish the European with a good brand of effective tennis.

Meanwhile in another contest, Roselida Asumwa lost to Czech player Victoria Azmukova in a three-set battle which ended 6-0/3-6/6-2.

Asumwa was tormented in the opening set as much of her strategy and implementation did not go to book.

That particular set took less than half an hour as the Czech opponent took control.

The following set, an improved Asumwa came back re-energised and played well especially on her returns as she forced her challenger to many uncomfortable situations.

However in the third set, it was back to default settings as she was once again exposed and beaten with conviction as she only managed two games.

Another Kenyan Alicia Owegi also fell through after a 2-6/7-5/6-1 loss to Austrian player Mou Lierpert. The match took at least an hour to complete.