By Ebenezer Osamo
Abdulmumuni Babalola and Shehu Lawal recorded wins Tuesday, as most of the seeded players progressed to the second round at the ongoing Dala Hard Court Tennis Championship in Kano.
Reigning CBN Open champion, Babalola, who crashed out in the first round of the Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, National Tennis Championship in Abuja last week, made sure thunder did not strike him twice, as he trounced Jonah Samuel 6-2, 6-1 just as Lawal was made to sweat before recording a comeback in a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Hamidu Abdulahi.
Both players who at a point placed a stranglehold on domestic scene by claiming series of national titles, were joined by Nigeria’s number one ranked male tennis player, Clifford Enosoregbe to move to the next round.
The newly-crowned NPA Open champion had a tough time battling Albert Bikom but he held on to win, 7-5, 5-7, 6-1.
Henry Atseye’s poor physical condition worsened as he retired against Sunday Emmanuel with the game at 2-0 in the opening set, while Onyeka Mbanu edged Jinadu Owolabi 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the most exciting match of the day.
Other players that progressed to the second round include Monday Igbinovia, with a 6-1, 6-3 victory against Jonathan Okwudili; Chinedu Akagha defeated Mohammed Mohammed, 6-2, 7-5 and Emmanuel Idoko defeated Pekun Akingbade 6-0, 6-7, 6-4.
In the women’s singles, Ronke Akingbade advanced to the next stage by beating Pauline Ebijimi 6-1, 6-4 and was joined by Patience Onebamhoin who forced Bukola Olowu to retire while leading 3-0 in the first set.