Upsets At NPA Open: Babalola, Lawal Bundled Out In First Round

By Ebenezer Osamo/Abuja

Nigeria’s top ranked male tennis players, Abdulmumuni Babalola and Shehu Lawal were on Monday dumped out in the first major upsets recorded in the first round of the Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA National Tennis open, taking place at Package B arena of the National Stadium, Abuja. reports that Emmanuel Idoko defeated Abdulmumuni Babalola, 5-7, 7-6 (4) and 6-2 in an entertaining encounter, while Men’s Singles winner at the 14th Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship, made a remarkable comeback from 2-5 down in the final set to defeat another veteran, Lawal 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Sylvester Emmanuel also beat Jonathan Okwudili 6-0, 6-0, while Clifford Enosoregbe outplayed Albert Bikom 6-3, 6-3.

Sunday Emmanuel proved too strong for Tswako Abubakar, beating him 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 just as Nonso Madueke overpowered Chinedu Akagha 6-0, 6-3.
In other results, Etim Ekanem out-stroked Mohammed Mohammed, 7-5, 6-4 and John Otu proved a match winner in his 7-6 (6), 6-2 win over Musa Bala.
In the Women’s Singles, reports that number one seed, Sarah Adegoke wasted many chances to wrap up the game but still won against Ngozi Dirisu, 6-3, 6-0 and another top seed, Christie Agugbom overpowered Afolarin Akosile, 6-1, 6-2.
As at the time of filing this report, the doubles and some other singles matches were still being played on the courts.
Defeated Babalola told in Abuja that tennis is often like that, “You do not win all the time and I guess it’s high time the youngsters started doing something more interesting”.
He added that, “It is still a shame that people like us are still defeating the youngsters because I had started defeating the senior players as a youngster many years ago. The loss was not too bad, though, I will still play in the doubles event”.

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