Kenya's men and women’s wheelchair tennis teams on Sunday missed out on a chance to play at the World Cup after losing 2-0 and 3-0 to Ghana and Morocco respectively in the finals of World Team Cup Africa qualifiers at Nairobi Club.
South African men and Moroccan women will now represent Africa at the World Cup in Portugal from April 30 to May 6. It will be Morocco's second appearance at the World Cup and the third for South Africa's men's team.
In the men’s contest, Kenya was placed in Pool A with South Africa, Tanzania and Cameroon while Morocco, Nigeria, Ghana and Egypt were in Pool B. Kenya women’s team played in Pool B alongside Ghana and Cameroon, while Morocco, Tanzania and Egypt featured in Pool A.
Kenyan women finished second behind Morocco and ahead of third-placed Ghana while Egypt, Tanzania and Cameroon followed in that order.
Team captain Jane Ngenga attributed the team’s loss to lack of quality equipment.
“Morocco’s team had better wheelchairs compared to us, enabling them to move swiftly and with greater stability on the muddy clay courts that were made wet by the rains. We trained long enough, but we understand that we cant always win every time so we are now going back to prepare for the Kenya Open and Karen Open tournament that will help us gain more ranking points,” said Ndenga.
Kenya finished fifth in the men’s category with South Africa, Morocco, Nigeria and Tanzania taking the first four positions while Ghana, Cameroon and Egypt took positions six, seven and eight respectively.
In Sunday's matches, Morocco’s Samira Benichi outclassed Kenya’s Asiya Sururu beating her in two straight sets of 6-1, 6-4, while Ndenga lost 6-0, 6-1 to Najwa Awane of Morocco.
The North Africans finished top of the six-team tournament of the women’s category.
South Africa thrashed Morocco in men’s singles category, Alwande Shkosana beating Fouad Boughnim of Morocco 6-2, 6-7 (2).
Shkosana’s compatriot Evan’s Maripa beat Morocco’s Said Himam 6-0, 6-4 to finish top in the eight team contest.