Okutoyi ready to make more history at French Open

Angela Okutoyi and team mates

From left: Angela Okutoyi, Cynthia Wanjala, Alicia Owegi and coach Francis Rogoi pose for a photo after linking up in Tunisia ahead of Africa Closed Junior Championship on March 26,2022

Photo credit: Pool

What you need to know:

  • This year will be a busy one for the 2018 Kenya Open champion. After competing on the clay courts in France, Okutoyi will head to the JA Wimbledon grass courts in the UK in July and then play on the hard courts in the USA for the JA US Open in September.
  • Okutoyi will have 26 competitions this year with several training camps along the way. 

Kenyan tennis ace Angella Okutoyi is satisfied with her preparations ahead of her debut at the prestigious JA Roland Garros (French Open Juniors) set for May 29 to June 4.

The 2021 Africa Under-18 champion has been in Italy since leaving Nairobi on May 3 during which she has competed in two build-up tournaments.

She made first rounds exits during the J1 Santa Croce Sull'Arno and JA Milan tournaments held between May 9-14 and May 16-22 respectively.

In Santa Croce Sull’Arno, Okutoyi lost 6-4, 7-5 to Aruzhan Sagandikova from Kazakhstan and was overpowered by Ranah Akua Stoiber 6-1, 6-2 in Milan.

Okutoyi had lost her Africa U-18 crown after being stunned by South African Leigh Van Zyl in semi-final during the JB2 Sousse tournament in Tunisia held from March 28 to April 1, meaning that she has not tasted a win in three consecutive matches.  

“I have been training with the Grand Slam Player Development Programme (GSPDP) team here in Milan and I’m satisfied with the preparations. I’m excited heading to France on Friday for the Roland Garros Junior Championships,” she said after Monday morning's training session.

Okutoyi made history in January this year at the Australian Open Junior Championships in Melbourne.

She defeated Italian qualifier Federica Urgesi in the first round to become the first Kenyan girl to record a Junior Grand Slam match-win. Heading into that match, she was already the first Kenyan since 1978 to even compete at a major.

Okutoyi then knocked out Zara Larke of Australia in round two and equalled the previous best result of a Kenyan junior at a Grand Slam before being stopped by Lola Radivojevic from Serbia in the third round.

This year will be a busy one for the 2018 Kenya Open champion. After competing on the clay courts in France, Okutoyi will head to the JA Wimbledon grass courts in the UK in July and then play on the hard courts in the USA for the JA US Open in September.

Okutoyi will have 26 competitions this year with several training camps along the way. 

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