April 14, 2024

Hosting BJK tourney expected to popularize Tennis in Kenya

Hosting BJK tourney expected to popularize Tennis in Kenya
File Photo

Tennis Kenya president James Kenani believes hosting top African talents at the eagerly awaited tourney will be an inspiration for young girls.

The 2023 Billie Jean King Africa Group III tournament is set to take place at the Nairobi Club from 12-17 June 2023 with Kenya hoping to build on this to popularise the sport in the country.

Tennis Kenya president James Kenani believes hosting top African talents at the eagerly awaited tourney will be an inspiration for young girls. 

"When young girls see  some of the participants, they will develop interest. There is a buzz around the sport thanks to Angela Okutoyi's heroics and we hope more girls will take up the sport after this," offered the president urging all attendees to tag their girls along. 

This is the first time the tournament is being hosted for African teams alone, giving countries a better chance at qualifying for the Group II Europe/Africa global competition.

The week-long competition will pit 12 nations against each other. Morocco and Tunisia represent Africa Zone I, Nigeria and Ghana from Zone II, Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, Seychelles from East Africa and Zone V representatives Botswana, Mauritius, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

 

The matches will be played from Monday with the group stage matches set to run until Friday. Two groups A and B play the preliminaries in a round-robin format with the playoffs set for Saturday.

The top teams in each group meet to determine the winner who will gain promotion to Europe /Africa Group II while the bottom-placed teams compete for survival from relegation to Group IV. 

Each tie will consist of two singles and one double,” Tennis Kenya Secretary General Wanjiru Karani said.

The SG says hosting the Billie Jean King Cup in Africa is historic, adding that the impact will be huge in Africa as it will ignite tennis in Kenya and empower African players. Previously, the tournament was held in Europe involving teams from Africa and Europe.

Nine clay courts are being constructed and are expected to be ready by next week ahead of the extravaganza which is part of 2024 Paris Olympics qualifiers.