Okutoyi eyes more history at Australian Open

Angela Okutoyi

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

Photo credit: Pool |

What you need to know:

  • Okutoyi goes into the match occupying position 62 in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior rankings. The Italian is placed at position 180 in the rankings.
  • Australian Larke (263) shocked seventh-seeded Johanne Svendsen (14) from Sweden 6-4, 6-1 in her first match to set up a second round duel against Okutoyi.  

Kenya's Angela Okutoyi will hope to mark another milestone when she takes on home player Zara Larke in the second round of the Australian Open Junior Championships main at Melbourne Park on Tuesday (2am EAT).

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.

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.

Paul Wekesa competed at the Australian Open from1989 to 1994. His best performance was reaching the second round in 1989 when he lost against Austrian Thomas Muster.

Wekesa had defeated Croatian Bruno Oresar in a five-set thriller in the first round to set up a second round meeting against Muster.

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

Okutoyi’s coach Francis Rogoi said that performance was key for him.

“The most important thing is to have a great attitude to face the great challenge, putting to play the practice goals,” he noted.

Okutoyi goes into the match occupying position 62 in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior rankings. The Italian is placed at position 180 in the rankings.

Australian Larke (263) shocked seventh-seeded Johanne Svendsen (14) from Sweden 6-4, 6-1 in her first match to set up a second round duel against Okutoyi.  

Meanwhile, Kenya had a bad start at the J4 Nairobi ITF World Tennis Tour after Faith Urasa, Reha Kipsang, Sahib Chana, Alvin Kimathi and Stacy Chepkemei, suffered defeats at the Nairobi Club on Monday.

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