Even though he is never one to take matches for granted, Gabriel Inyang was clearly beaten in his second round match at the ongoing Azumith Shipping Lines Junior Tennis Tournament in Lagos, but he is not dwelling on it.
It was his first time of competing against the U-16 boys having dominated the U-14 cadre both in Nigeria and abroad, and his first experience is something he will not be willing to remember for a long time to come.
The youngster who once represented the United States in a junior tennis tournament and won for them, was unhappy that his coach wanted a stiffer challenge for him by moving him up the ladder, a development which resulted in an unprecedented defeat for him.
Young Inyang lost the match against Adamu Noah in two straight sets of 2-6, 4-6, but the coach, who is also the father, believes he will come back stronger after the defeat.
“Well, I believe it’s a good move in the right direction as regards taking him one step higher than his actual age category which is 14.
“I noticed that he came to the party too late and that’s a big lesson for us. We will go back to work and remain positive with the dream,” Coach Richard Inyang told Nigeria Tennis Live.
On how Gabriel felt after losing the match, the dad confirmed that he was really unhappy.
According to him: “The feeling is not good for him but I need him to face this challenge now and enjoy it later. He believes I should have allowed him defend his title with the U-14s but I believe he should step up and face stiffer challenges.
“I am positive that he will soon get over it and bounce back stronger.”
The junior tournament which offers education grant and other fabulous prices kicked off on Monday, 21 January, will end on Saturday, 26 January with the grand finale expected to hold at the tennis section of the Victoria Garden Club, Lekki, Lagos.