Serena Williams' last-minute heartbreak—Is this the end of her Olympic dreams?

Serena Williams created a revolution in tennis in the true sense. She motivated millions of players who came from humble backgrounds to pursue the sport, proving anyone can do the impossible with hard work and a little luck. Not only on the court but also off the court, Williams’s massive impact spread beyond continents. One such player who was influenced and motivated by the American legend’s actions is Angella Okutoyi, a 20-year-old player from Kenya. However, she received a massive setback ahead of the Paris Olympic Games.

Before Williams came into the limelight, players of color had very few opportunities to make it big in tennis. However, Williams’ massive success was a boon for many players like Okutoyi to dream about success in the racquet sport. The Kenyan tennis sensation grew up watching Williams play and is working to follow her path to greatness. Although working day in and day out to qualify for Paris, Okutoyi fell agonizingly short of the qualification mark. As a result, she expressed her disappointment on her official Twitter handle.

Okutoyi said, “Writing this with mixed emotions, but first l thank God for always being here with me . It’s been tough even to reach where l am now and one of my many ultimate goals was to see myself playing at the OLYMPICS and l was really setting my eyes on this one after missing Tokyo’s on !!”


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Although she was looking forward to representing her country in Paris, Okutoyi’s ranking is 495 and she fell out of the top 400 bracket required for qualification. As a result, she would have to wait at least four more years to pursue her Olympic dream.

She further went on to add, “My prayer is in the near future that a continental win should be a direct ticket cause it’s not easy playing the best of your continent and considering Africa we don’t have much opportunities too.”


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The Kenyan tennis sensation idolizes Williams and she was one of the reasons because of which Okutoyi pursued tennis. During an interview once, she reflected on Williams’ biggest quality that left a lasting impression on her.

Angella Okutoyi remembers Serena Williams’ ‘fighting spirit’ during pregnancy

Back in 2017, Serena Williams surprised one and all after winning the Australian Open title while being pregnant. The American legend came to know about her pregnancy just a few days ahead of the Grand Slam down under but didn’t pull out of the tournament. Instead, she went on to defeat her elder sister, Venus Williams, in the summit clash to win the title.


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The Kenyan sensation remembered Williams’ journey there while talking about the biggest quality learned from her idol. She revealed, “I admire her fighting spirit while on the court and the fact that she is very hardworking. I remember there is a time she competed while pregnant. That was really admirable.”

Like Williams overcame numerous setbacks in her life and career, Okutoyi will look to work toward her dream of competing in the Olympics one day. However, for that, she will have to strive hard day in and day out and get back to the top level.