Albert Njogu is in line for a Davis Cup debut after he was named in Kenya’s final team for the Africa Zone Group III championship on Thursday.
The annual men’s international tournament will serve off on Monday at Nairobi Club in Nairobi after the draw on Sunday. Team Kenya captain and coach Rosemary Owino picked the 17-year-old Njogu, a Form Three student at Mbagathi High School, in her four-player squad that also has Kevin Cheruiyot, Ismael Changawa, Sheil Kotecha and Ibrahim Kibet for the five days nine-nation affair.
Participating countries are hosts Kenya, top ranked Benin, Algeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Rwanda, Cameroon, Namibia, Mozambique and Nigeria
Njogu, who is currently placed 671 in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) rankings, has represented Kenya at Africa Junior Championships Under-18, 16, and 14 levels.
Cheruiyot, is making a comeback after missing last year’s action while Kenya’s top seed Changawa, Kotecha and Ibrahim Kibet, featured in last year’s tournament.
Those who failed to make the cut are Olivier Kigotho, who was in last year’s tournament, Ryan Randiek and Petty Andanda. Kenya narrowly missed out on promotion to Euro/Africa David Cup Group II after falling to Zimbabwe 2-0 in Africa Zone Group III play-off.
This is the first time Kenya is hosting the Davis Cup since 2002 in Mombasa where Kenya featured in Group II.
Owino said that the selection was not easy after the players had competitive matches right from last year. She said they learned vital lessons from last year’s tournament in Egypt.
“Last year, we had challenges since we had last minute preparations and, besides, we didn’t have motivation,” said Owino.