The final match of the Ikoyi Tennis Masters which culminated last weekend was indeed a masterpiece as a rookie, Sylvester Emmanuel, defeated in-form top star, Lawal Shehu in straight sets of 6-1, 7-6.
Emmanuel, a wild card entrant, became the youngest winner of a senior national tournament after his enviable feat in the match which stretched into the midnight.
Speaking early today, the 17-year old Switzerland-based prodigy disclosed that he was really happy to have won his first senior championship.
|Sylvester Emmanuel won the inaugural Ikoyi Tennis Masters|
He noted that “I just wanted to win because I had lost out in previous matches where I thought I was good enough. The Ikoyi Masters was a good tournament because everybody who made it to the Masters was among the best in the country. It is a great improvement for me and I am really grateful to the organisers for this.”
Meanwhile, Christie Agugbom made it a hat-trick of titles in 2014 as she defeated Sarah Adegoke, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to win the women’s title.
The tireless and vastly experienced Agugbom made it a clear repeat of the semi final match of the recently held Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA Open in Abuja, where she also got the better of Adegoke.
President, Nigeria Tennis Federation, NTF, Engr. Sani Ndanusa, who was at the venue of the finals, was very delighted with the level of tennis on display at the Tennis Section of the Ikoyi Club 1938.
He said: “I am really glad that we could have such a huge tournament to end a very successful year for our tennis. The players have distinguished themselves and we saw the best of tennis action in the country.
“Our sponsors have also done a great job by bringing this tournament at such a crucial time. Kudos also to Mr. Kienka for his passionate support for Nigerian tennis. “We assure you that next year would be much better”.
The Ikoyi Club Masters, like the ATP Masters, featured the top eight players on the NTF ranking save for two wild cards given to juniors, one of whom won the tournament.