The top players at the ongoing Azimuth Shipping Lines Junior Tennis Championship are living up to their pre-tournament billing as the tournament gets stiffer.
Neither of the Boys U-14 top seeds, Chukwudubem Amasiani and Seyi Ogunsakin broke a sweat in their second round matches as they eased into the third round of the competition.
The pair who had just returned from Togo, where they helped Nigeria emerge as the overall winner at the ITF/CAT West & Central African Junior Championship qualifiers, were outstanding in their individual matches, winning in two short sets.
Nigeria Tennis Live checks on the fixtures showed that tennis spectators are poised for an outstanding match in the third round as Akwa-Ibom’s Wisdom Effiong take on Peter Ubiebi, son of respected tennis coach, Abel Ubiebi.
Elijah Kwange from Niger State will also have his hands full when he comes up against Calabar-based Damilola Agunbiade in one of the third round matches.
In the Girls U-14, Lorelay Holzendorff, one of Nigeria’s outstanding youngsters, hit the ground running in her match against Bisola Ogunkolade, winning 4-0, 4-0, and will now face Mariam Egbeyemi in the quarterfinals.
Another Akwa-Ibom player, Favour James, will have to be at her very best when she takes on Fego Ayetuma from Rivers State in what promises to be a battle of the South South region. Ishaku Kwange will pull the strings against Faith Olaniyan in another mouthwatering clash.
The Lagos Lawn Tennis Club will have a feel of the dangerous Bright Emmanuel when she takes on Abimbola Ayinla in her first match after getting a bye in the Girls U-16 first round at the Azimuth competition.
Iorlumun Eunice and her sister, Mary – both from Benue State, will also be in second round action on Thursday, 18 January, 2024.
Rivers-based Mary Ekpenyong, the younger sibling of Nigerian number one male tennis player, David, will come up against Rokibat Afolabi from Oyo State while Ekiti State’s Goodnews Aina will battle Zainabu Adisa in one of the other second round matches.
Gbolahan Olawale, the top seed in the Boys U-16 will start his first match against David Ogunbiyi in what will be an attempt to win the category having won the Boys U-14 final in 2023.
Elisha Kwange from Niger State, the number two seed, will also be squaring up against Godwin Testimony in the second round match of the Boys U-16 fixture while his other compatriots from Niger, Yahuza and his brother Shamsudeen Bello, will be fighting for a spot in the third round.
France-based Nzewi will also be looking to keep up his fine form in the second round after beating Tomiwa Adejola in the first round with a 4-0, 4-0 scoreline.
The matches slated for Thursday are delicately poised to give spectators a spectacle inside the ever-welcoming Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan, Lagos.
The Azimuth Junior Tennis Championship which kicked off on Monday, 15 January will end on Sunday, 20 January, 2024.