Nigerian players taking part in the 15th Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship began their quest for honours with victories in the first round of the competition at Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan, Lagos on Monday, 7 December, 2015.
Wildcard player, Sylvester Emmanuel received a standing ovation from fans when he stopped American Anderson Reed, ranked number 1488 in the world in one of the matches played on Lord Rumen’s Centre Court in two straight sets of 7-6(3), 6-3.
|Sylvester Emmanuel during one of the NCC Tennis League matches played recently. He is expected to carry Nigeria’s flag high during the tournament.
An elated Emmanuel, who addressed journalists after the match, said that he was not surprised with the victory, adding that hardwork and experience he gained while traveling around the world to play in different circuits won the match for him.
“I feel great winning this match. I went into the match with great confidence that I would win.”
“This is because I played more ATP tournaments than Reed. He was a good players but I’m better than him,” said Emmanuel, who in the past few months played in ATP-ranking competition in the USA, Togo and Benin Republic.
The Nigerian star, however, said that this year’s Governor’s Cup will be different for the local players as they are battle-ready to give their foreign counterparts a good run for their money.
Other Nigerians who made headway in the first round of the tournament include Mohammed Mohammed who beat Ghana’s Bernard Dugbah 4-6, 5-3, 5-3; Albert Bisong Bikom defeated Swiss player, Jessy Kalambay 5-7, 6-4, 7-5, all in the men’s singles.
Some Nigerian ladies won their respective matches of the first round, moving on to the second round, a feat which looked very unusual.
Ronke Akingbade beat compatriot, Christie Nwankwo 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, while Blessing Samuel lost to Osariemen Airhumwunde 6-4, 6-2.
|Ronke Akingbade also won her match at the ongoing tournament.
The duo of Mohammed and Joseph Imeh beat the pairs of Alexei Filenkov of Russia and Aldin Setkic of Bosnia in the men’s doubles.
Some Nigerian players were however sent packing from round one. Aminat Quadri was no match for Tessah Andrianoafitrimo of France as she fell in straight set of 6-0, 6-0; Kyra Shroff of India beat Rita Obasigie 6-0, 6-0.
In other results, Tadeja Majeric of Slovakia beat Eden D’Oliveira of USA 60-3, 6-1. Ester Masuri of Israel defeated Olena Kyrpot of Ukraine 6-0, 6-3.
German Andiyo Inwang who was given a wildcard was beaten by Mara Schmidt of USA in straight sets of 6-1,6-3.
Zimbabwe’s Valeria Bhumu beat Usina Sumail of India 6-1, 6-2, while Alexandria Riley of USA defeated Nina Kolar of Slovakia 5-3, 6-0 all in the women’s singles
Other results of the men’s singles in round one will be concluded on Tuesday. The first leg which began Monday will be rounded off on Saturday with winner in the men’s category winning the sum of $15,000, while their female counterpart will take home $25, 000.