Henry Atseye, arguably Nigeria’s most impressive player at the ongoing Lagos Open Tennis International Championships, could not sustain the momentum with which he began his first round match against his opponent as he retired in the final set of their encounter on Tuesday, 9 October.
The Nigerian star player who stretched Jacobs Tukhula from Namibia in the first set before losing (3)6-7, won the second set 6-3 with some great tennis action, forcing his opponent to some errors.
Atseye, a one-time quarterfinalist in the $25,000 tournament, could not continue in the same light when the final set commenced as he had to cave in at 2-4 after sustaining a knee injury, leaving the Namibian with the win after a good fight.
|Henry Atseye in action against Namibia’s Jacobs Tukhula at the ongoing Lagos Open International Tennis Championships on Tuesday, 9 October, 2018.|
After the game, he told Nigerian Tennis Live how the injury to his left knee prevented him from continuing with the game which he was within minutes of winning.
He said: “I simply went for a ball and felt the sharp pain in the tendon around my knees, so I had to suspend the game so that I don’t aggravate the injury.
“I was disappointed when I felt the pain on my knee because I was playing really well, but then that’s tennis. You cannot predict what will happen the next minute.
“I shall work on returning to full fitness soon, though. But I’ll try not to rush it because I have been advised to rest the knee for a while to allow the tendon around that part heal quickly.”
This result means most of the Nigerian players have been effectively sent out of the tournament as Thomas Otu, Clifford Enosoregbe and Ireland-based Adebola Obasoto were all defeated during their matches earlier in the day.
The chances of any Nigerian winning anything meaningful at this year’s tournament is only in the team game where some of the top stars found a way of defeating their opponents to land in the quarterfinals of the Doubles event.
Nigerian Tennis Live will keep monitoring the players’ performance and report the result as the competition reaches its climax.