After digging deep to find a solution against a stubborn Joesph Imeh at the Men’s Singles final of the Rainoil Tennis Championship in Lagos, Henry Atseye has dubbed the Nigerian number two player a great and solid player.
Both players lasted over two hours on the centre court of the Lagos Country Club in Ikeja during the final match decided on Sunday, 17 December, and Atseye had the last laugh winning 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 in the final set.
Speaking with journalists after the match, Atseye said: “Imeh is a great player. He is a solid upcoming player and number two in Nigeria. I just had to stay more focused and stay tough because I have been playing before him.
|Joseph Imeh still remains focused after losing three major finals in 2017.|
“I like to appreciate the sponsors for bringing this to Nigerian tennis and special thanks to the NTF President, Mr. Dayo Akindoju, for all his efforts in trying to get more sponsors for tennis in the country.”
The match was one of a kind as both players showed signs of great things to come for Nigerian tennis, especially Atseye who was just returning to the national circuits after battling niggling injuries over the past few years.
He started the match on the ascendancy and was rather ruthless, this sent a signal of how good the former CBN Open champion could be on his good day, taking the first set. But Imeh, who has played more finals in 2017 than any Nigerian player, was poised to show how he got to the finals of each of the tournaments.
Imeh got back into the game and could have won the second set having raced to a 4-1 lead, but unforced errors and loss of focus made him concede to the Abuja-based singlehanded backhand player, before racing back to a 7-5 win as the crowd cheered him up.
It was an evening that would not go Imeh’s way as he had every chance to finish up a tiring Atseye in the final set, but the latter had the last laugh, as his final shot was stumbled against the net by the now powerless Team Muller star man.