The most dominant tennis star in the world wants to see greater participation in Africa, and she thinks that hosting a major international tournament in Kenya should be the first step. United States tennis legend Serena Williams recently stated that she would like to see a Women’s Tennis Association tournament staged in Kenya for the purpose of promoting the sport in the Continent.
At the age of 36, Serena Williams is currently the most accomplished professional tennis player in the world; she is only a couple of Grand Slam titles away from breaking all existing pro tournament levels, both male and female. Williams also happens to be a charismatic and media savvy personality, which means that her suggestion to hold a WTA tournament in Africa will likely be taken very seriously by organizers. As to why she specifically proposed Kenya, Williams said that it is one of her favorite places to visit.
Williams’ relationship with Kenya and her affinity for this African nation dates back a few years. In late 2008, she inaugurated a secondary school that she helped to build through a partnership with tech giant Hewlett Packard. Since access to information technology was a major aspect of this school building initiative, Williams was ecstatic during the opening ceremony when she was able to connect to a wireless network on campus. This school is located in the community of Makueni; she would later open another secondary school in Kenya, and she wrote about her involvement as a guest editor for technology magazine Wired in 2015. On that Wired issue, Williams commented on the importance of equality in the digital age; she was afraid that a technology-centric secondary school in Kenya would result in a heavy enrollment of boys compared to girls, and thus she insisted on a minimum 40 percent female enrollment.
Since the early 21st century, WTA tournaments have proven to be the most popular in the world of professional tennis. At major events such as Wimbledon, women’s matches enjoy greater television audiences, and these matches dominate the interest of the sports betting world, particularly when they feature Williams. Thus far, the WTA has been shy in terms of organizing tournaments in the Continent, the only exception has been South Africa in recent decades. There is no question that Africa has lots of tennis talent that begs to be discovered and fostered, particularly in the Francophone countries; to this effect, WTA events in Kenya or other African nations will certainly be good for the world of pro tennis.