By Ebenezer Osamo/Abuja
Nigeria’s number one male tennis player, Clifford Enosoregbe and teenage sensation, Angel McCleod are among the players already through to the quarter finals of the ongoing Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA National Tennis Open in Abuja.
Enosoregbe strolled past Ikechukwu Iloputa, 6-1, 6-2 to set up a quarterfinal clash against youngster, Sylvester Emmanuel, who also beat John Otu, 6-4, 6-1.
McCleod, who was quite brilliant in her 7-6 (9), 4-6, 6-3 win over Bukola Olowu, will now play against pre-tournament favourite, Sarah Adegoke, who was also ruthless in her 6-1, 6-1 win against her friend, Zainab Oladimeji.
Other quarter-finals pairings will see Candy Idoko squaring with Henry Atseye, while Governor’s Cup Champion, Moses Michael will take on emerging youngster, Joseph Imeh. Hamidu Abdullah will also play against Emmanuel Idoko.
In the Women’s Singles, Christie Agugbom will play against Loveth Donatus, Osareimen Airhunwunde will slug it out against Aanu Aiyegbusi and Blessing Samuel will do battle against Chidinma Chukwu.
In the Men’s Doubles which has advanced to the semi final stage, the pair of Taiwo Owolabi and Abdulmumuni Babalola will take on the pair of Clifford Enosoregbe and Nonso Madueke, while Albert Bikom will partner Tyav Tyolumun to tackle the pair of veterans, Candy Idoko and Shehu Lawal.
The Women’s Doubles semi finals will see top seed pairing of Agugbom and Samuel taking on Adegoke and Beauty McCleod, just as the Simbiat Aleem-partnership with Folashade Ogunshola will face Osaro Amadin and Margeret Olagundoye, who got a wild card to participate in the tournament.
Meanwhile, President, Nigeria Tennis Federation, NTF, Engr. Sani Ndanusa, has hailed the emergence of youngsters to usurp the ageing players, noting that it means that the younger ones are now improving.
In a chat with our correspondent in Abuja, Ndanusa said; “These players have been around for a very long time and I think it was no mismatch that the youngsters have started taking up the challenge. It is really good for our tennis and it also shows that our investment in tennis development is not a waste.
“I have watched several matches here and the level on display were very massive. Our sponsors made this possible, so we are very grateful to NPA for helping us stage this tournament”, he stated.
The week-long Championship will end on Saturday, 6 December, 2014 inside the Package B Arena of the National Stadium in Abuja.