Kenya: A Star in the Making

The performance by Kenyan junior Nikita Dawda at the International Tennis Federation’s East African 18 and Under Junior Circuit in Nairobi is inspiring.

That the 16-year-old is the first Kenyan girl to ever reach the singles final of the championships is no mean achievement.

Dawda has been a lone ranger after her colleagues exited in the first round of the event that drew over 100 players from 25 countries across the continents. The boys’ championship was marked by a low turnout from the hosts, owing to tight schools schedule.

Even though Dawda’s star is still rising, there is a lot that other juniors can draw from her performance in terms of preparations, in particular proper training, a good diet and a positive mind.

The International Tennis Federation has awarded Kenya an opportunity to host three junior tournaments in a span of three weeks, a rare gesture that both local tennis authorities and Kenyan juniors should cash in on to improve on their rankings.

It’s from such junior tournaments that star players are moulded.

We hoped that visit by ITF’s Regional Development manager Thierry Ntwali during the tournaments will help re-energise local tennis.

Copyright © 2012 The Nation. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media ( To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.