Kwange, France-based Nzewi Rule Azimuth Junior Championship In Lagos
Jade Nzewi became the biggest winner of the Azimuth Shipping Lines Limited Junior Tennis Championship when the grand finale was held on Saturday, 20 January, 2024.
The France-based Nigerian teenager, who did not lose any match before the final match was pegged back by top Nigerian junior, David Edwards, in the first set of their Boys U-16 final match on Saturday.
Edwards, the younger sibling of Nigerian number one female tennis player, Marylove, won the first set against his more experienced opponent, but Nzewi rallied to take the second set.
In the deciding super tiebreaker, the eventual winner raced to a 5-0 lead as spectators were stunned by the twist. However, Edwards fought back to put his opponent under pressure.
Buoyed by his big serves and relentlessness, the All In Academy player eventually took the game 10-7 in the super tiebreak to a loud cheer from the spectators inside the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan, Lagos.
In the second match which attracted crowd on Saturday afternoon, Emmanuella Kwange and Gloria Samuel gave the audience a spectacle with their fight on court one.
Niger State’s Kwange lost the first set, but got back on her groove in the second set and defeated her Ekiti-born opponent to a roust applause by her supporters.
The youngster who won the Girls U-12 final in 2023, was cheered to win because she had moved to the U-14 cadre. Playing against Samuel, who recently returned from a national event in Togo, made it a more important match for Kwange.
Despite getting tired as the competition wore out, Kwange held on to rule the game and emerge as one of the most improved players since the Azimuth Championship started about six years ago.
In the Girls U-16, Bright Emmanuel defeated Goodnews Aina while Chukwudubem Amasiani could not get another one past Seyi Ogunsakin, his compatriot in Nigeria’s national U-14 team.
The younger Amasiani, Chukwubuikem was firing on all cylinders when he came up against Imo State’s Samuel Ndem, winning the boys U-12 finale.
Nigeria’s number one U-12 female player, Mofifunoluwa Atilola, shone like stars when she played the final against Joy Emmanuel, whose family has a track of amazing tennis players.
The icing on the cake at the finale was the presentation of an award of excellence to Captain Stephen Owolabi Martins, MD/CEO Azimuth Shipping Lines Limited, for his role in tennis development in Nigeria.
The award was presented by the Tennis Players Parents Association (TPPA), who thanked Captain Martins for sustaining the competition against all odds.
Mrs. Jumoke Yakubu, Tournament Director of the Azimuth event, appreciated the participating States for coming to Lagos and wished them a safe journey to their respective locations. She also thanked everyone who contributed to the success of the tournament.
Below are some of the other pictures of the winners and finalists: