Kenya has won the Davis Cup Africa Group III to reach the Euro/Africa Group II Championship.
Led by non-playing captain Rosemary Owino, the team won all their pool matches and beat Mozambique 2-0 in the semi-final at the Nairobi Club.
But it will be tougher for them as they fight for a place in the main draw in the Group II playoff due Match 6-7 next year.
The team also won their Africa Group III semi-final last year to earn promotion to Group II, but the coming on board of a new Davis Cup sponsor saw changes, including halting of promotions.
Tennis Kenya must therefore craft a serious training programme for the next five months, eyeing a play-off win into Group II.
Kenya was once a force to reckon with in Davis Cup. At one time, they nearly qualified for the World Group, but fell in the semi-final of the Europe/Africa Zone Group I in 1992.
The team had the legendary Paul Wekesa in the line-up. But this dream can be achieved.
Sadly, however, as we speak, the team members are yet to be paid their allowances from this year’s Africa Beach Games in Cape Verde, East Africa Championships in Burundi and African Games in Morocco.
This largely contributes to lack of morale and poor performance in subsequent events since players see nothing to fight for in the competitions.
It was a good gesture for Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed to come and cheer the Davis Cup to victory. However, the government ought to give the team incentives.
In addition, hosting events would be an added advantage; hence the urgency of the government speeding up the construction of the Tennis Centre at Kasarani.
The project seems to have stalled even after the ground-breaking done by International Tennis Federation (ITF) president David Haggerty last year.