Tennis Kenya content with Davis Cup performance despite relegation

Albert Njogu

Kenya Davis Cup team player Albert Njogu trains at Nairobi Club on August 5, 2021.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Kenyans Keean Shah and Kael Shalin Shah lost to Patrick Agbo-Panzo and Alexis Klegou in singles respectively before Albert Njogu and Derick Ominde defeated Agbo-Panzo and Sylvestre Monnou in doubles
  • Coach Francis Thuku’s side was beaten by Namibia 2-1, Morocco 3-0 and Algeria 2-1 in Pool “B” to set a date with Benin who had completed Pool “A” in third place
  • shot themselves in the foot after leaving behind their top players Ismael Changawa, Ibrahim Kibet and Kevin Cheruiyot due to disagreements on bonuses



Tennis Kenya has praised Davis Cup team despite being relegated from the Davis Cup Rakuten Africa Zone Group III to Africa Zone Group IV after losing 2-1 to Benin in relegation play-offs on the clay indoor courts of Bachdjarah in Algeria, Saturday.

Kenyans Keean Shah and Kael Shalin Shah lost to Patrick Agbo-Panzo and Alexis Klegou in singles respectively before Albert Njogu and Derick Ominde defeated Agbo-Panzo and Sylvestre Monnou in doubles.

Coach Francis Thuku’s side was beaten by Namibia 2-1, Morocco 3-0 and Algeria 2-1 in Pool “B” to set a date with Benin who had completed Pool “A” in third place behind Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe.

Asked about Kenya Davis Cup team’s performance, Tennis Kenya Secretary General Wanjiru Mbugua-Karani said, “We are so proud of them and the fight they put up in each of their matches. This is a very young team with an average age of 21. This is expected when a team is transitioning from an older team to younger blood. They need some time to settle. We will continue to support them as they work their way up the ladder. Next year I assure you they will post better results.”

Kenya went into the Benin fixture with a head-to-head record of three victories each. However, Kenya lost their last encounter 2-1 in August last year.

The East Africans shot themselves in the foot after leaving behind their top players Ismael Changawa, Ibrahim Kibet and Kevin Cheruiyot due to disagreements on bonuses. Sources said the experienced players asked for an increase in training bonuses from Sh1,500 per day to Sh2,500 but Tennis Kenya declined.  

Algeria sent Mozambique to Group IV after Toufik Sahtali hit Jossefa Elias 6-0, 6-1 in the first singles match before Samir Reguig completed the job for Algeria by sweeping aside Rafael Seda 6-0, 6-0.

Togo and Senegal, who won the Africa Zone Group IV play-off in Rwanda and Cameroon in March this year respectively, have been promoted to replace Kenya and Mozambique.

In Algiers, the two group winners Ivory Coast (Pool A) and Morocco (Pool B) automatically gained promotion to the World Group II playoffs in 2022.

The two second-placed teams Zimbabwe and Namibia fought for the third remaining promotion spot, with the former dominating 2-1.

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