Team Kenya close in on Davis Cup promotion

Kenya inched closer to Davis Cup Group 2 promotion after beating Benin 2-1 in Cairo on Wednesday.
Following wins over Botswana and Algeria, Kenya had to dig deep to beat a resilient Benin outfit. Kenya face Libya today. Sheil Kotecha beat Felix Hounkpevi 6-3, 6-1 in the opening singles match. Kotecha, who is enjoying top form, broke Hounkpevi’s serve early to race a to a 3-0 lead. Hounkpevi rallied in the fourth game of the set to win and reduce the margin to 3-1 but Kotecha stepped up a gear to win the next two games to move within a point of winning the first set at 5-1. Hounkpevi fought back in the seventh and eight games to reduce the margin to 5-3 as Kotecha looked to have lost concentration. Howeveer, the Kenyan kept his cool to win the ninth game and the set.
A revitalised Kotecha came out firing in the second set as he capitalised on Hounkpevi error strewn service to lead 4-0. Hounkpevi managed to salvage a game in the fifth game but it proved futile in the end as Kotecha clinched the final two games of the set to give Kenya a 1-0 lead. Alexi Kiegou levelled matters for Benin in the second singles encounter by beating Ishmael Changawa 6-3, 6-2 to set up a decider in the doubles category, where Changawa and Ibrahim Kibet prevailed over Alexis Kigou and Delmas N’tcha 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7-3) in an epic three set encounter.
Team captain Rosemary Owino said they were taking one match at a time and said the tie against Libya will be tough. “To win three matches consecutively is encouraging for the team. It gives us confidence and prepares us well for what will be competitive match against Libya,” added Owino. The winner of each pool plays off against the runner-up of the other pool to determine which two nations are promoted to Asia/Oceania Zone Group II in 2018.

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