Nigeria’s Sylvester Emmanuel may have lost his first round match at the ongoing Lagos Open International Tennis Championships against India’s Arvean Govea due to the pressure of winning in front of his home fans.
In an exclusive chat with Nigerian Tennis Live, the Indian number seven seed who defeated the Nigerian number two male player in two straight sets of 6-0, 6-0, explained that he was already familiar with his opponent having played against him in the 2017 edition of the competition.
|Sylvester Emmanuel in top flight action against the Indian number seven seed at the Lagos Open on Monday, 1 October.|
He noted that having played the Nigerian star in 2017, he was already aware of how the 2018 Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Open Champion plays. And this boosted his confidence during the encounter.
“Sylvester is a good player, I mean, he’s one of the favourites here in Lagos and he had the crowd behind him all the time.
“But that also put him under serious pressure which made him lose focus in the game. Even though the crow also cheered me up when I made some good points, I felt like he just wasn’t focused enough and allowed the pressure of winning at home affect him,” Govea stated.
Like Sylvester, most of the other Nigerian male players, including Joseph Imeh – the number one Nigerian tennis player – were nowhere to be found during the tournament as they lost to their opponents.
Nigerian Tennis Live will be monitoring the tournament and report the progress of Nigerian players in the competition as things get stiffer.