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Azimuth Tennis: Benjamin Upsets Top Seed Olawale To Reach 3rd Round

Apapa Tennis Club player, Joel Benjamin, caused one of the most unprecedented upsets in national junior tennis by defeating Gbolahan Olawale at the ongoing Azimuth Shipping Lines Junior Tennis Championship.

Benjamin, an unseeded player, was buoyed by the support of his compatriots who kept urging him on against his more experienced opponent in the Boys U-16.

But Olawale, the competition’s number one seed, who just helped Nigeria emerge the overall winner at the recently concluded ITF/CAT West & Central Africa Junior Tennis Championship in Togo, was unable to close the gap.

The first set ended in 5-3 in favour of the less-fancied Benjamin, causing an unprecedented panic in the camp of his opponent who was the winner of the Boys U-14 in 2023, however, the Ondo player picked up quickly, and took the second set 4-2.

READ ALSO: Azimuth Tennis: Amasiani, Ogunsakin Shine As Lorelay Reaches Q/Final

In the ensuing super tiebreak, Benjamin kept his cool and continued rallying with his opponent, and won more points as Olawale either had double fault serves or multiple unforced errors.

And with some brilliant serves, consistent cross court forehand by the Apapa Tennis Club player, he was able to win 10-2 and achieve a result even he never dreamt of to reach the third round of the tournament.

After the match, he told Nigeria Tennis Live that he never expected to defeat Gbolahan, whom, in his books, was a better and more experienced player.

“But my coach kept asking me to rally and put all balls in the court, so, I obeyed him and kept playing all the balls in. That was how I was able to win,” Benjamin said.

Buoyed by this amazing feat, Benjamin believes that “maybe I can win it after defeating Gbolahan”.

Nigeria Tennis Live will continue updating all our followers with the latest reports and results from the ongoing competition which is scheduled to end on Saturday, 20 January, 2024.



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