Barry Silah @obel_barry
As the first leg of the ITF/CAT 14 and under Championships ended at Nairobi Club, the home team shone relatively well.
In the finals of the girls’ event, home girl Angella Okutoyi showed her mettle against Madagascan fourth seed Randy Makotarilala by winning easy 6-1, 6-1.
Her dominance on court was clear with good executions with the serve and great defending. Her forehand winners were the weapon of choice as her opponent literally crumbled due to myriad mistakes with her returns.
Okutoyi who was top seed in this tournament was more adventurous and took risks especially with her deliveries.
The lanky 14-year-old took advantage of her net presence to find good spots to find winners.
She collected four aces in a fairly straightforward match as she prepares to get an update of her latest global rankings.
Meanwhile, Edmond Nyabwari beat Seychelles player Duncan Accouche 0-4, 4-0, 5-10 in the Boys singles finale. The youngsters’ traded lovely shots between them in a battle of wits on court.
Accouche preferred the drop shots to complicate the movement of his opponent however the Kenyan lad was equal to the task.
In the opening set, he might have been caged but he came alive in subsequent sets with more discipline in shot selection.
Alicia Owegi and Shakira Varese also had solid displays on court as they held their own. However they lost to stronger opponents.
Fifth-placed Owegi fell to Madagascan to Malika Ramasawmy 5-3, 4-1 in a fierce contest. Owegi was a much-improved player from 24 hours earlier when she seemed to struggle.
Her composure and good backhand serves were great to watch however her failure to defend well at baseline caused her discomfort and ultimately lose points. Her opponent’s quick footed movement also made work trickier.
As for Varese, she lost 1-4, 4-0, 10-6 against counterpart Roselida Asumwa in a contest of familiar faces. However, the young Varese gave a good account of herself particularly on returns.