Kenya to skip Davis Cup

Nairobi, June 3 (IANS) — Kenya will not participate in the 2014 Davis Cup tournament owing to lack of talented players, an official of the country’s tennis association said Monday.

“Walter Kioko, the team manager for last year’s side, counselled on the need to bypass this year’s competition in order to give time for new players to evolve following the lackluster performance by his players,” Xinhua quoted Martha Tirop, the honorable secretary of the Kenya Lawn Tennis Association (KLTA), as saying.

Tirop was speaking at the 2014 Kenya Junior Open in Nairobi that concluded Monday after three days of play.

The 2013 Davis Cup team consisting of Ibrahim Kibets, Kevin Cheruiyot, Jamin Luvembe and Fazal Khan played in the Africa Zone Group III of the tournament where they finished in 11th place.

Presently, tennis in the country is buoyant only at the junior level, with senior tennis development programmes stalled several years back.

Players who graduate into seniors usually proceed to pursue higher education in universities overseas where they continue playing the game alongside their studies.

“Unfortunately we haven’t seen those who have gone abroad on tennis scholarships come back to represent the country at senior level,” said Mike Kibala, member of KLTA executive committee.

“Also lacking is a programme that captures junior talent and provides them with space, equipment and coaching that can catapult them to the senior level,” Kibala added.

IANS 2014-06-03 02:16:13

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