By Ebenezer Osamo
Nigeria’s highest ranked player on the Junior ITF log, Joseph Imeh, on Wednesday, recorded one of his most memorable victories on the domestic stage this year, as he defeated Monday Igbinovia 6-2, 6-3 to book a place in the quarter final of the Dala Hard Court Tennis Championship holding in Kano.
Imeh, 17, who spearheaded Nigeria’s remarkable outing at the ITF West & Central Africa Junior Circuit in Togo and Benin Republic in September, displayed great tennis skills leaving Igbinovia, a nephew of former Nigerian tennis star, Jonathan Igbinovia, puzzled all through the match.
“I was determined to better my performance and I’m sure I can go far in this tournament”, Imeh, who reached the semifinal at the NPA Open last week in Abuja, said.
In other second round matches, Abdulmumuni Babalola triumphed over Sunday Maku 6-0, 6-2 in an encounter dubbed clash of the old titans just as Thomas Otu battled to a 1-6, 6-3, 6-0 win against Emmanuel Sunday to also advance to the next stage of the First Bank-sponsored event.
Lawal Shehu also joined the train following his 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Mohammed Mohammed, while Nonso Maduekwe recovered from a set down to beat Onyeka Mbanu 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Top seed, Clifford Enosoregbe, Emmanueol Idoko and Sylvester Emmanuel all made the quarter final list as their opponents, Candy Idoko, John Otu and Ebuka Benjamin respectively retired due to weather condition.
In the women’s singles, Christie Agugbom continued her match to end the year on a splendid note, having won the CBN as well as the NPA titles, with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Aminat Quadri, while tournament’s number one seed, Sarah Adegoke, proved too much for Afolarin Akosile with a 6-1, 6-0 win.
Aanu Ayegbusi also progressed to the quarter final at the expense of her friend and colleague, Loveth Donatus with a 6-0, 6-3 victory.