Nigeria retained the girls’ Singles title at the U-18 ITF Junior Circuit which just ended in Benin Republic on Saturday, September 16.
Naija Tennis Special exclusively gathered that Adetayo Adetunji, the quarterfinalist at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Bahamas, proved to be a valuable addition to the Nigerian side, as she defeated Linda Elounde from Cameron 6-4, 6-1 to cap a fantastic performance at the first leg of the junior championship.
|Adetayo was a shining light for Nigeria at the first leg of the ITF junior championship in Benin Republic.|
In the boys’ semifinal, Nigeria was however unlucky, as Christopher Bulus lost to Delmas Ntcha in two straight sets of 4-6, 4-6 and will play for a third place spot against Azeez Bationo from Cote D’Ivoire.
Nigeria’s Adetayo and Oyinlomo Barakat could not also withstand the firepower of Anttila Alexandra Joksovic Doroteja in the girls’ doubles, as they lost 3-6, 6-2, 10-8, just as Ireland-based Nigerian youngster, Bola Obasoto and Helali Azeez partnered and lost to the fiery combination of Ntcha and Moumonu Sylvester in a frantic 6-4, 1-6, 10-6 game.
|Nigeria’s Christopher Bulus (right) before one of the singles matches at the ITF U-18 Junior Circuit in Benin Republic.|
The Nigerian side will now move on to Togo on Sunday, September 16, for the second and third legs of the ITF junior circuit.
Meanwhile, Nigeria has, more than before, become the target of the other teams at the ITF junior circuit as the players have proven to have what it takes to take on some of the top seeds in the junior championship.
According to Coach Abel Ubiebi, the opponents have now marked the Nigerian players and this will make them (the opponents) step up their game the more and look at a way of reducing the players’ ratings.
|Team Nigeria all set to catch the next ‘flight’ to Lome, Togo, for the second phase of the ITF pro circuit.|
“We are ending this first leg mentally stronger and this is what we need to start the second leg in Togo.
“We are the team to beat in this competition and this will make things quite difficult for the team. But our players are now stronger than the way we began the tournament as we expect stronger oppositions in the next two legs,” the certified PTR Tester affirmed.