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MUST READ: What Oparaoji Won Despite Losing DavNotch Open Final

Uche Oparaoji, Nigeria’s former number one player, was arguably the star of the DavNotch Men’s Singles final match despite losing the match to injury.

He turned up against his former Doubles partner, David Ekpenyong, in what was a fierce contest on the centre court of the tennis section inside the National Stadium, Abuja.

Lefty had a great spell against Ekpenyong in the first game, but that was almost the best period of the match for him, as he eventually lost the first set 2-6 and was 1-1 against his lanky opponent before retiring due to a recurring ankle injury he sustained earlier in the competition.

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But one thing that stood out for the African Games player was the manner in which young players stormed the tennis section to drum support for their idolo.

The young, organized youngsters stormed the tennis section in their number, plastic bottles in hand, and their voices raising the roof with “let’s go Lefty, let’s go” chants which rent the air whenever Oparaoji scores a point.

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And when he loses a point or doesn’t do well, they all chorus “never mind, never mind” in a show of confidence in the fierce Davis Cup team captain.

But even though Oparaoji, one of Nigeria’s most consistent players over the past few years, can arguably pass as the player of the tournament having gone through tough matches to reach the final, it was these kids’ support at the business end that really felt like the motivation that he needed to pull through.

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At the end of the day, even though the ‘Onye tennis 1’ of the entire Igboland lost the title through injury, he gained friendship, he gained trust and he won over the young tennis fans inside the tennis section of the national stadium.

And for us at Nigeria Tennis Live, that felt like a really big win for someone who seems like a really influential figure in the Men’s national tennis team.



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