Nigerian players fail in their bid to make it to the quarterfinal of the Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship on Wednesday as the $80, 000 prize money event reached its home-stretch at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan.
Gov’s Cup Lagos Tennis: Nigerian Players Bow Out
Sylvester Emmanuel failed in his bid to go a step further than he did in the Futures 3 as he stumbled 6-2, 6-4 to France’s Fabio Reboul who has now set up a last-eight clash with second seed, Llyod Harris of South Africa, a 6-3, 6-3 conqueror of Swiss, Jessy Kalambay.
Nigerian Joseph Imeh also exited following his defeat by Takanyi Garanganga of Zimbabwe 6-4,6-2,while Umaru Balami was also eliminated by number sixth seed, Antal Van Der Duim from The Netherlands 6-2, 6-1.
However, Three African players fought their ways into the quarter finals as Duncan Mugabe of Uganda, the 2014 finalist, who was dumped out by Sylvester Emmanuel at this stage of the first leg defeated Deimas N’Tcha of Benin Republic 6-2, 6-0 to stay on course for the top prize.
In other results of the men’singles, Egyptian Karim-Mohammed Maamoun defeated Aaron Cortes Alcaraz who retired in the second set of their match after the result read 7-5, 5-2. French Sadio Doumbia, number 4th seed, beat Ben McLachlan of New Zealand in 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 game.
In the women’s singles, the only Nigerian lady in the second round, Blessing Samuel was sent out by French Tessah Andrianjafitrimo in a one sided match that ended 6-0, 6-0. Top seed, Vaeriya Strakhova from Ukraine beat Mara Schmidt of USA 6-0, 6-3 just as Tadeja Majeric, who won one of the two legs in 2013 and was a finalist in the first leg defeated her compatriot, Fiona Codino 6-1, 6-0.
Russian-born Nigerian Melissaa IFidzhen crashed out following her 6-0, 6-4 defeat by Bulgaria’s Julia Terziyska while South Africa-based Zimbabwean Valeria Bhunu stopped by Ulrikke Eikeri Norway in 4-6, 6-
Meanwhile, the President of the Nigeria Tennis Federation, Engr. Sani Ndanusa has called for
adequate support of Nigerian players in order to compete favourably with their foreign counterparts.
Ndanusa while reacting to the elimination of the last set of Nigerian players at the Futures 4 on Wednesday said the fact that some of the countries players defeated their well exposed foreign counterparts in their matches shows that they can compete at the top level if given the necessary backing.
“The future is very bright for our players because of the result posted by a few of them. At least three of our players upset their better ranked opponents and this goes to show that with just a little support, our players can compete at the a very high level,” he pointed.