No fewer than three Nigerian junior tennis players at the ongoing African Junior Tennis Championship (AJC) qualifiers have secured semifinal slots.
According to information made available to Nigeria Tennis Live, Nick Bolleteri Academy’s Marylove Edwards led the charge for glory at the West African country as she crushed Coulibaly, an Ivorian in two straight sets of 6-1, 6-1, to continue her cruise in the championship.
Following in her steps is Kaduna-based Iye Onoja who has shone all tournament long. Onoja comfortably defeated her opponent from Benin Republic 6-0, 6-1 to move within the medals zone.
For Rebeccae Ekpeyong and Oiza Yakubu, the story was not as pleasant, as their best was not enough to salvage anything for them in the quarterfinal stage of the tournament.
While Ekpeyong fell in two straight sets of 3-6, 3-6 to Cameroon’sStadfany, Oiza could not hold withhold the firepower of of her opponent, thereby easing out of the tournament in the quarterfinal stage.
Suleiman Ibrahim was another shining light on the day for Nigerian players as he won two of his matches on Tuesday. He defeated Azees Benzy from Cameroon in a 6-1, 6-1 game and braced up to crush Nahum from Benin Republic in the quarterfinal match with the same scoreline.
The players’ mixed fortunes were capped with a fine performance by medal hopeful, Matthew Abamu, who fought really hard to suppress Setome from Benin in a 7-6, 6-1 match.
Abamu who is quite experienced at the junior cadre of the sport, made sure to bring his A-game to the party when it was needed the most, and this was clearly seen in the outcome of the pulsating encounter.
In other matches, Oiza made up for her disappointing lost in the Singles as she partnered Onoja to defeat Nahum/Nougbessi from Benin 6-3, 7-6 to secure a place in the Doubles Quarterfinals.
Abamu also partnered UK-based Mukhtar to beat the Burkina Faso pair of Kalaya and Nezian 6-1, 6-0 just as the Nigerian duo of Mubarak and Suleiman battled to a 6-3, 5-7, 10-7 defeat of Udensi and Nahum.
In her second quarter final appearance, Marylove teamed up with Mary Udoffa to hand the Ghanaian pair of Mckorley and Ankrah a 6-3, 6-4 defeat while Kushimo partnered with Beanox, a Gabonese to beat the Setome (Benin) and Fodjo( Cameron) in two quick sets of 6-2, 6-2.
The atmosphere in Togo is getting quite tense as the players approach the business end of the tournament for which Nigeria has remained the undisputed champion over the years.
Nigeria Tennis Live will keep up tabs with the performance of the players and report to our teeming audience as things unfold.