High School tennis champion out to retain title

Judith Nkatha of Kenya returns a serve to Zara Lennon of Mauritius during the second ...
Judith Nkatha of Kenya returns a serve to Zara Lennon of Mauritius during the second leg of the 5th ITF East Africa Junior Championship at the Nairobi Club in Nairobi, Kenya on January 25, 2016. Lennon won 6/1, 6/4. Photo/Oliver Ananda/www.sportpicha.com

East African Girls’ lawn tennis singles champion Judy Nkatha is on a quest to retain the trophy she has won in the previous two editions as she prepares to wrap up a successful High School career in the ongoing Brookside East Africa Secondary Schools Games.

Since her emphatic two sets win of 4-2, 4-0 over Uganda’s Sudari Kamusinga at the Tanzania’s National Stadium court in 2014, the triple national champion has held onto the regional table of merit and says it is no time to ease off.

“I am in good shape so I feel I can defend it. I won’t be in the competition next year and the best way to cap off what has been a great career is by winning again.

“The biggest obstacle to my treble East Africa dream lies with my Kenyan opponents because most of them know me very well. My tactics are therefore exposed but there is always a room for a new thing in big tournaments,” the Shadrack Kimalel form four student told Citizen Digital.

Nkatha comes into the tournament as the most decorated girl in her specialty, having bagged 2015 SOYA award of the Most Outstanding Girl of the year, which she acknowledges casts her onto the spotlight and making her last tournament a must-win.

“Playing at home will give me an edge over visiting opponents, but in equally means the home fans will have more expectations of me. It is that feeling everyone expects you to win without considering other stars that are emerging every day. Of course, after the one week of training here in Eldoret I will be challenging for it.”

Beyond her secondary school life, Nkatha wants to attend the United States Tennis College to further sharpen her tennis skills, at a place she terms ‘a society that appreciates tennis.’

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