Photo: Suzie Dyrbus, ITFKenya's doubles team in action in Nairobi
Host nation Kenya beat a more experienced team from Egypt 2-1 as the BNP Paribas World Team Cup Pre-qualifying Event for Africa got off to an exciting start on Tuesday at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies in Nairobi.
Caleb Odoyo, playing in his first ever competitive wheelchair tennis match, edged out Egypt’s Faraub Ahmed 64 16 62 in the opening singles rubber before Egypt levelled the tie.
In the deciding doubles rubber Egypt came back from 5-2 down in the second set to level the contest and saved a string of match points before Kenya’s doubles pairing finally completed a 64 75 to seal the tie.
Kenya and Egypt now have Nigeria to play in round-robin Pool A in the men’s event, while Gambia, Morocco and Zimbabwe will contest Pool B over the course of the next few days.
Kenya’s women’s team were unable to replicate the success of the men’s team and lost their opening round-robin tie against South Africa 3-0.
Rose van der Meer beat Jane Ndenga 60 60 and Moline Musa beat Rahel Akoth 60 60 in the two singles rubbers to give South Africa the best possible start to the event.
Players from seven countries - Kenya, Morocco, Gambia, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and South Africa - are contesting this week’s qualification event, with one men’s team set to earn a place in World Group 2 and one women’s team set to earn a place in the Women’s World Group for the 2012 BN Paribas World Team Cup to be held in Seoul, Korea, in May.