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Dozen countries set to compete at Africa
Zone Five Davis Cup in Nairobi

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan players will have to display their best if they want a chance to win the Davis Cup Africa Zone Five tennis championships, which will be held in Nairobi from June 18-23.

A total of 13 teams have confirmed participation in this Group three event with the winners qualifying to join Group two.

The countries sending in their players include Madagascar, Algeria, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Mozambique, Libya, Namibia and Botswana. Others are Benin, Cameroon, Ghana and Angola.

Top-seeded player Ismael Changawa and youngster Ryan Randiek lead the eight-member Kenya team named Wednesday by Tennis Kenya, who hopes that the home team will improve their game and stake a claim to the titles in their different cadres as the competition returns to Nairobi for the second time.

Changawa, speaking to Xinhua in Nairobi Wednesday, was bullish over his prospects in the tournament.

“We have had a good training and the players emerging from it are strong and promising. We are building nicely by playing in tournaments across the region and we hope we can do Kenya proud during this important tournament,” said Changawa.

Kenya first hosted the prestigious event in 1997 and 2002. During the 2016 tournament in Cairo, Kenya finished third behind hosts Egypt and Zimbabwe, however it skipped last year’s event due to financial constraints.

Benin is ranked highest among the 13 teams who entered with Kenya second. Algeria are third followed by Niger and Namibia. Other participants are Rwanda (120), Mozambique (122), Cameroon (127) and Uganda, who are not ranked.

Kenya remains hopeful it will qualify for this year’s Davis Cup Euro/Africa Zone Group II having narrowly missed out on promotion after falling to Zimbabwe 2-0 in Africa Zone Group III semi-final.

Kenya, which first played in the Davis Cup in 1974, staged its best performance to reach the Europe/Africa Zone Group 1 semifinals in 1992, just one match short of qualifying for the World Group.

The Kenya team has Changawa, Ibrahim Kibet, Albert Njogu, Kevin Cheruiyot, Ryan Randiek, Sheil Kotecha, Oliver Kigotho and Petty Andanda.


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