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African Games: Which Player Do You Expect To Replace Ekpenyong?

It is no longer news that David Ekpenyong, Nigeria’s number one male team player, has been ruled out of the ongoing African Games in Accra, Ghana.

The US-based teenage tennis sensation confirmed to Nigeria Tennis Live that he is unable to attend the African Games owing to inability to leave his school where he is currently on scholarship to play College Tennis.

According to him: “My coach really wanted me to play at the tournament because I was really looking forward to it, especially because it is a tournament that is held only once in four years.

“But there’s really nothing I can do about it with this situation, I’ve already communicated this to the authorities, and I really hope they understand my situation”.

Following this report, the national team coaches would have started looking inwards for whom to replace the lanky player with.

READ ALSO: Ekpenyong: Nigeria’s No. 1 Player Ruled Out Of African Games

Currently training in Abuja are about seven players, from whom the tennis federation is hoping to pick players to participate at the African Games from.

Uche Oparaoji, Abubakar Yusuf, Daniel Adeleye, John David, Canice Abua, Godsgift Timibra and Emmanuel Michael are the players currently training for the African Games.

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Of the seven national players, however, there are chances that Uche Oparaoji will on the plane to Ghana for the event. There are also talks about Christopher Bulus and fellow US-based tennis player, Wilson Igbinovia making the cut.

However, now that David Ekpenyong is not likely to be in Ghana for the 13th African Games, it remains unclear which player will be added to Nigeria’s team for the week-long event.

Adeleye, by virtue of his ranking as Nigeria’s topmost junior on the ITF stands a good chance to also be included in the squad as he remains of Nigeria’s most consistent junior players on the World Tennis Tour Juniors in recent years.

READ ALSO: African Games Records: When Was The Last Time Nigeria Won Gold?

David is most likely in the squad on the back of his impeccable run at the Dala Hard Court Championship in 2023, where he reached the semifinal of the tournament from playing the qualifying rounds.

Canice, is expectedly the next in line to replace Ekpenyong based on the current national ranking where he sits fifth with only Peter Lawal, Uche Oparaoji, Henry Atseye and David Ekpenyong ahead of him.

Another top player who could get a slot on the team going to Ghana is Godsgift, his progress from the junior cadre to the seniors has been impeccable and he is one hell of a fighter – a trait Nigerian players will need to excel at the Games.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Bulus Hits Highest ATP Ranking Ahead Of African Games

Emmanuel is Nigeria’s number nine player and is deservedly on the list of players in camp based on his recent performances at national tournaments which have taken him up the ladder in the national rankings.

Abu of the Mambilla Barracks Tennis Club is one the players touted as the next big thing in Nigerian tennis.

The National Youth Games gold medalist also won the UTR U-16 event in Lagos by putting up a serious fight and has not looked since then.

While the national team coaches are sweating on whom to add to their list of players expected to prosecute the Games, we’re asking you, whom you think should make the final cut of these players?


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