Kenyan Angella Okutoyi enters third round in Australian Open

Angela Okutoyi

Angela Okutoyi in action during a previous tournament in Ruiru, Kenya.

Photo credit: Pool |

What you need to know:

  • She saw off home player home player Zara Larke 7-6(7),5-7, 6-1. in the second round of the competition.

Kenya's Angella Okutoyi Tuesday marked another milestone after advancing to the third round of the Australian Open Junior Championships main draw at Melbourne Park.

She saw off home player home player Zara Larke 7-6(7),5-7, 6-1 in the second round of the competition.

She becomes the first Kenyan to go past the second round at a Grand Slam tournament. 

Okutoyi will now face Lola Radivojevic of Serbia in the third round. 

Okutoyi, who is ranked 62nd in the International Tennis Federation(ITF) Junior Rankings, was challenged by 16-year-old Larke on her backhand swings and serve returns, but she held her own winning the first set by an inch of just one game and an advantage after an intense 1hour and 27minutes on the court. 

After giving an exciting performance in the first set, Okutoyi, who is popular for her calm demeanor on the court, seemed a little bit shaky in her first two games of the second set with Larke overpowering her by winning two games consecutively within thirty seconds of the set.

This set Okutoyi back and she eventually lost 7-5.

The two time Africa Junior Championship winner later redeemed her performance in the third set closing in quick on Larke with a 6-1 win locking down the match after 2hours and 16 minutes.

Congratulated by Billie Jean King

Okutoyi defeated Italian Federica Urgesi 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3 on Sunday in the first round to become the first girl from Kenya to win a Grand Slam juniors match.

Alongside Iranian Meshkatolzahra Safi, she has been congratulated by tennis legend Billie Jean King.

“History was made at the Australian Open. Cheers to Meshkatolzahra Safi from Iran and Angela Okutoyi from Kenya on both becoming the first girls from their respective countries to win a Grand Slam juniors match!

Love watching our sport grow across the globe,” tweeted the American, who won 39 Grand Slam titles.

it is also the first time in 16 years a Kenyan is featuring at the Australian Open Juniors.

Kenya's Christian Vitulli competed at the 2006 Australian Open Juniors when he lost in the first round of the main draw against New Zealand’s Austen Childs.

Okutoyi is the second Kenyan girl to play a Junior Grand Slam after Susan Wakhungu who featured at Wimbledon in 1978.

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