In what Nigerians would have otherwise referred to as showing somebody ‘pepper’, talented tennis youngster, Matthew Abamu taught his Tunisian opponent some tennis lessons at the ongoing 2018 ITF/CAT African Junior Championship for 16 & Under age category in Tunisia.
Nigerian Tennis Live gathered that the fearless Nigerian youngster was determined to win for Nigeria and he did it in spectacular fashion by defeating the Tunisian in front of the home fans, winning 7-6, 6-3 in a frantic tennis clash.
Abamu, 15, was reportedly the underdog against the Tunisian who had a huge home support, but the CBN Juniors losing finalist was at his very best to see off the North African, forcing a tie-break after Abdullah had led 6-5 in the first set.
|Matthew Abamu showed his Tunisian opponent pepper in their match at the ongoing AJC in Tunis.|
In the ensuing tie break, he hit some winners while also saving some points with his persistence play. He was more precise with his shots in the second set which he won by breaking Abdullah twice.
After the match, an elated Coach Mohammed Ubale said: “Matthew surprised everyone. He was very determined to win the game. The Tunisians were very disappointed that their boy did not win but they still commend him (Matthew) for his performance.”
To stand any chance of progressing further in the competition, however, Abamu will need to put up a more heroic display as he confronts Elikam Coulibaly of Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria’s nemesis on the African continent.
Coulibaly has been one of the best junior players in Africa in the last two years, a fact highlighted by his ranking which has seen him move into the top 200 this year from 500 in 2016.
He has been a stumbling block to a number of Nigerian players in the junior circuit – including beating Christopher Bulus (now based in the US) in their past three meetings.
Ironically, Gabriel Friday, who defeated Abamu to win the CBN Juniors over the weekend, failed to cross the first hurdle as he was beaten 6-3, 6-4 by Ranaivo Toky of Madagascar.
Oyinlomo Quadri is flying Nigeria’s flag in the girls’ category and she is scheduled to play her second round match Wednesday after defeating Boukholda Houria of Algeria in the first round.