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All You Need To Know About Nigeria’s Players To 13th African Games

The Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) on Friday, 8 March, 2024, made public the list of players expected to make the country proud at the African Games.

The list which consists of six foreign players and two Nigeria-based tennis stars was confirmed to Nigeria Tennis Live by Makpa Aliyu, the Secretary of the NTF.

Christopher Bulus and Wilson Igbinovia are the US-based Nigerian men who will be representing Nigeria at the Games in Accra, Ghana, and are joined by Captain Uche Oparaoji and Abubakar Yusuf from the Mambilla Barracks Tennis Club.

Tennis Team List 13th African Games

The women’s team is led by the energetic and charismatic Adesuwa Osabuohien while Oyinlomo Quadre, Marylove Edwards and Divine Nweke make up the remainder of the strong team.

Nigeria Tennis Live has decided to come up with an article to share all you need to know about each of these players who will be representing the country at the Games.

Abubakar Yusuf:
Abubakar Yusuf first shot into national limelight when he won gold medal at the National Youth Games in Ilorin, Kwara State in 2021. He defeated Seun Ogunsakin 6-3, 6-2 to win gold for Team Delta at the Youth Games.

Abu, as he is fondly called, is Nigeria’s no 11 ranked senior national player and reached this ranking spot after only losing to eventual winner, Henry Atseye, in the semis of the Dala Hard Court Championship in Kano last year.

Abubakar Yusuf

The Mambilla Barracks Tennis Club Abuja player reached world number 855 in the ITF rankings after twice reaching the final of J30 events in Nigeria and losing in the quarterfinals of a J60 event in Accra, Ghana.

He also recently won the youth event at the Lagos region of the Tennis Players Parents Association (TPPA) organized UTR tournament.

Christopher Bulus:
This 23-year-old is Nigeria’s only player on the ATP rankings (1127) and is nearing the top 1000 in the world ranking after some recent upwards movement on the rankings.

The former New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) player was one of the key reasons Nigeria gained promotion to the Davis Cup Group III in Kigali, Rwanda, in 2023, and is one of Nigeria’s key players going into the Games.

Christopher Bulus

While representing the University of West Alabama (UWA) in 2021, he emerged as the Gulf South Conference (GSC) player of the year and was ranked third nationally at the time after boasting an amazing 13-2 record in singles and 11-4 in doubles play for his University.

The one-time Aces Tennis Academy player under the watchful eyes of Coach Abel Ubiebi, is one of the players touted to lead Nigeria to an enviable gold medal feat at the African Games in Ghana.

Uche Oparaoji:
Nigeria’s former number one player popularly known and called Lefty has been one of Nigeria’s most consistent players for a while now.

He has won every possible national title in the country and only relinquished the number one spot to David Ekpenyong after losing to the Lanky player at the finals of the 2023 CBN Senior Open Tennis Championship in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital.

Uche Oparaoji

The current Nigerian number three player also won the Top 8 Abuja Tennis Cup event in 2022 where he defeated 2023 Dala Hard Court winner, Henry Atseye in two straight sets and set his sights on even bigger feats.

If Nigeria will stand a chance at doing exceedingly well in the Doubles event at the African Games, then Lefty is the man to beckon on. He is one of the best Doubles players in the country.

Wilson Igbinovia:
The man called Oswalele is an offspring of the famous Igbinovia tennis dynasty in Nigeria as his dad and uncle – Sunday and Jonathan are two big names in Nigerian tennis. So, he must surely have a spark to his game.

Not only does Wilson carry the Igbinovia name with pride, he acts the same on the court. He opened Nigeria’s account at the David Cup event in Kigali, Rwanda, with an emphatic win, to put Nigeria on her way to other impeccable wins.

Wilson Igbinovia

The University of West Alabama student won the DavNotch Tennis Championship in 2022 and was the highest ranked Nigerian junior player on the ITF after winning a J60 (formerly called J4) event in Benin Republic

He is tough and arguably one of Nigeria’s best players to prosecute a high-intensity tournament such as the African Games. His partnership with Bulus – both US based – is also something Nigerians can look forward to.

Adesuwa Osabuohien:
The charismatic team lead for Nigeria’s Billie Jean King Cup is one who needs little or no introduction as she has proven over the years to have what it takes to be a Nigerian player even though she is based in the USA.

For starters, she is currently Nigeria’s highest ranked player on the WTA rankings (1316) and was the first person to win a Billie Jean King Cup match for Nigeria when the girls beat Kosovo 3-0 in the second match of Nigeria’s inaugural appearance at the BJK Cup in Lithuania – in 2021.

Adesuwa Osabuohien

Adesuwa who was present at the Morocco Games in 2019 when Nigeria won bronze in the Women’s team event, has played about six ITF events in 2024 alone, reaching the second round in the qualifying rounds of a couple of them.

Nigerians will be more than delighted to have the experience of the 29-year-old on the team as the country goes in search of gold medal at the Accra Games.

Divine Nweke:
Denmark-based Divine Dasam Nweke, is about the most relatively unknown female player on the Nigerian team but she is as good as they come.

At 19, Dasam packs a lot of power in her forehand and a corresponding backhand. As at 2019, this teenager was Denmark’s number one U-16 player having also won the Tennis Europe U-16 event in Copenhagen.

Divine Nweke

During the Billie Jean King Cup event in Nairobi Kenya in 2023, Divine fought back 7-5, 7-5 in Nigeria’s second against Botswana, in a show of sheer willpower and aggressiveness on the court.

With age on her side, and with her tennis peaking at the right time, there is no doubt that this youngster is definitely one of the players that deserve a spot on the national team.

Marylove Edwards:
Nigeria’s teenage sensation is one of those players Nigerians can never forget in a haste. The double-handed forehand and backhand player ranks among players that Nigerians love to see on the court.

The current Nigerian number one player earned her spot on the team to Ghana on the back of her successive impeccable performance on the national tennis circuit, where she was unplayable and consequently won all the national tournaments.

Marylove Edwards

The former IMG Tennis Academy player who is currently based in the United States will provide the much-needed steel to the Nigerian team gunning for gold at the African Games after being an unused player during the Billie Jean King Cup event in Kenya – in 2023.

Edwards, one of the players Nigerian players want to badly defeat – per Nigeria Tennis Live survey in 2023 – will once again have the privilege of showing what stuff she is made of in Accra, Ghana.

Oyinlomo Quadre:
Arguably the most popular Nigerian player in the last few years, Oyinlomo needs no introduction whatsoever.

But for the benefit of doubt, we want to reintroduce the Florida International University (FIU) student to you. She is currently ranked No. 56 in Collegiate Tennis, and one of the most valuable players on her team.

Quadre reached top 100 in the world tennis juniors and was invited to play at the Orange Bowl event in the United States but was repeatedly denied visa by the American Embassy in Nigeria despite interventions.

Oyinlomo Quadre

In 2019, she won the Nigerian Slam without dropping a single set, a feat which had not been recorded before in the history of Nigerian tennis, after winning her first ever Grade 3 ITF World Tennis Tour Junior event in Tunisia.

After winning bronze with team Nigeria in 2019, Quadre has vowed to return with a gold medal and potentially qualify to represent Nigeria at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.


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