S. Africa promoted to Group 2 after winning Billie Jean King Cup in Kenya

  • World
  • Monday, 17 Jun 2024

NAIROBI, June 16 (Xinhua) -- South Africa has been promoted back to tennis's Europe-Africa Group 2 following their 3-0 victory over Kenya on the last day of the Billie Jean King Cup Group 3 tournament here on Saturday evening.

In the women's singles, Gabriella Broadfoot saw off Cynthia Wanjala 6-3, 6-1, while Isabella Kruger beat local top seed Angella Okutoyi 7-6, 6-3.

Broadfoot and Heike Van Vuuren then partnered in the doubles to win 6-1, 3-6, 10-4 in a thrilling contest.

That concluded the first to third play-offs at the week-long continental tournament that attracted 12 nations.

"This year, we brought together the team spirit and I think this week we focused a lot on supporting each other each day and we are all really excited to be going back to Group 2 and we are looking forward to it," Kruger said after South Africa's victory.

Kenya's top ranked player and African champion, Okutoyi, who is vying to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics, admitted the hosts were disappointed for missing out on promotion for the second successive year they have hosted the tournament.

"This year, we tried our best and I feel like this team was stronger than last year but we just fell short. We did all we could but we could not execute. We are all there for each other even during the lows and the highs and that is what teamwork means and we pray one day we can get out of Group 3 and into Group 2," the local favorite added.

Despite the setback, Okutoyi hailed the fact that Kenya is no longer considered the whipping nation in African women's tennis.

With six victories in six over Nigeria and hosts Kenya - South Africa have earned promotion to the next level of the 61-year-old ITF Billie Jean King Cup.

Nigeria finished second with Kenya finishing third, after the west Africans beat the hosts 2-1 on Thursday.

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