Nigeria’s Micheal Osewa looks set to be rewarded by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) with a European tour following his brilliant displays at the recently concluded 39th ITF/ CAT African Junior Championships in Pretoria, South Africa.
|Michael Osewa displaying his reward for winning silver at the just concluded tournament. He is set for a European tour|
Although Osewa failed in his bid to be crowned Africa’s best player in the Boys’ 14&under after losing to Damien Laporte of the Seychelles in the final held at the ITF High Performance Centre in Pretoria, he seems to have done enough to be among the few players who will be chosen across all the continents by the world governing body for the tour.
Osewa’s silver medal outing was the best in Nigeria’s history at the 25-nation event which is the biggest junior tennis in Africa.
Nigeria’s junior tennis head coach, Mohammed Ubale said on the team’s arrival in Abuja on Sunday that the 14-year-old, alongside Laporte, Ryan Randiek of Kenya Khololwalm Monsti of South Africa and a host of other players, will now be upgraded to the 16&under category in next year’s edition having being identified as one of Africa’s talented prospects in tennis.
“From all indications, Osewa should be among the players that will be in the European Tour where players feature in junior tournaments across five European countries namely England, France, Germany Belgium and Holland.
|Team Nigeria led by Mary-Love Edwards after the tournament.|
“The players will be assembled for a week or two by the ITF before embarking on the tour which could last for about two months,” said Ubale, who heaped praises on Osewa for taking the scalp of two highly-ranked players, especially the top seed-Younes Adnane of Tunisia- despite losing his first set at the 11-day championship.
The European Tour is part of ITF’s developmental programmes with players having the luxury of playing in the junior category of the French Open and Wimbledon Open.
Nigeria’s Candy Idoko was selected for the tour in 2012 after placing joint-third in the same category during the tournament held in Gaborone, Botswana but could not attend due to visa-related issues.