Nigerian players salvaged their reputation in the ongoing 15th Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan on Tuesday with a host of the country’s players battling their way to the next stage.
With no fewer than six Nigerians exiting the $80, 000 prize-money championship in the first round of the Futures 4 on Monday, Sylvester Emmanuel shone against Russian Alexei Filenkov winning 7-6(5), 7-5 in a closely contested men’s singles match. His reward is a second round clash on Wednesday eighth-seeded Frenchman, Fabien Reboul.
Another Nigerian, Joseph Imeh defeated American Anderson Reed in 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 to set up a meeting with Takanyi Garanganga, the third seed from Zimbabwe while Umaru Balami beat Ghana’s Pascal Ziyab Alome in straight set of 6-3, 7-5 to also book a second round place.
Moses Michael, who won the 14th edition of the Governor’s Cup defeated compatriot Albert Bikom but in doing so, he is now expected to have his hands full as he faces men’s top seed Aldin Setkic from Bosnia, the winner of the first leg.
In other results, Nigeria Tennis Federation top-ranked player Clifford Enosoregbe, crumbled to a 6-3, 6-2 defeat against fourth-seeded Sadio Doumbia of France just as Karim-Mohammed Maamoun from Egypt defeated David Pel of The Netherlands 1-6, 6-2, 6-3. Benin Republic’s Deimas N’Toha also advanced by beating George Darko of Ghana 6-4, 6-1.
In the women’s singles, Nigeria’s number one female player, Sarah Adegoke was beaten by Mara Schmidt of the USA 6-0, 6-3 while Nigeria’s number two, Christie Agugbom could not also stand the firepower of Valeriya Strakhove of Ukraine losing 6-0, 6-0.
Frenchwoman, Fiona Coding proved to be a puzzle for Nigeria’s Loveth Donatus with a 6-3, 6-0 triumph while Coding’s compatriot, Tessah Andrianjafitrimo, who won the women’s singles in the first leg, proved too hot for Nigeria’s Christie Nwankwo 6-0, 6-0.
They are joined in the second round by Julia Terziyska of Bulgaria joined the second round train as she defeated Ines Murta of Portugal in straight set of 6-2,6-4.