By Ebenezer Osamo/Kaduna –
Emerging tennis star, Angel McCleod and young tennis player, MaryLove Edwards will renew their rivalry when the NNPC Junior Tennis Championship gets underway in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria.
Edwards, who was before now the national Champion in the U-14 category, was dusted by McCleod in that category and the U-16 finals at the recently held NNPC/ SNEPCo Junior Tennis Championship in Lagos.
And McCloud has vowed to repeat same feat in the Kaduna tourney slated for 3-8 November at the Murtala Square Tennis Court, Kaduna, as the two friends off court continue what is likely to go down as one of the fiercest rivalries in modern day tennis.
According to the Dubai-based half caste, “If I play my game, I am sure of defeating her again if we happen to meet during the competition, because when I am on top of my game, I am unstoppable.
“I had an injury on my left thigh, more like a muscle sprain, but I can handle the matches with that”.
But vastly-travelled Edwards is not conceding defeat either, instead she has also vowed to give it her all if both youngsters clash.
She told eyeonthesports.com that, “I will try my best to defeat her. This is the best way to prove that I have improved since the last time we met.
“It will also prove that I have been doing everything my coach has asked me to do when I get to the court. She is my friend when we are off the court but on the court, we face our different businesses”.
Also looking very promising is the rivalry in the girls’ 10 & under between Kaduna-based Iye Onoja and Chidinma Ezeh from Onitsha.
In the boys 16s, Chris Itodo from Kaduna, who lost for the first time to Peter Lawal from Abuja in the semi final of the SNEPCo championship, will be looking forward to regaining his dominance on his home turf. Itodo will also have to contend with Chris Bulus and David Amusu among the many top juniors from Lagos.
The girls’ matches will commence on Wednesday, (today) with the likes of McCleod, Edwards, Onoja and Udoffa, fighting for honours in different age categories.
The tournament, which is part of the International Tennis Academy, ITA, Junior Tennis Circuit is featuring boys and girls singles events in four categories; 10s, 12s, 14s and 16s.