Nigeria’s David Ekpenyong was a losing fighter on Saturday, 11 November, 2023 when he was ambushed by Spain’s Bernardo Munk Mesa, who has had a rollercoaster week.
The Nigerian number one player, featuring in his first ever J100 final on clay, had to fight most of his opponents on his way to reaching the finals of the event and still put up a serious fight in the final.
However, his Spanish opponent, who upset the competition’s number one seed en route to the final, made sure he maintained the composure and resilience that got him that far in the tournament hosted by Mexico.
Having taken the first set 6-2, Ekpenyong thought to consolidate that win with a second set victory, but his opponent, who seemed to have studied him, paid him in his own coin in the second, winning 6-2 as well.
The final set thus became delicately poised for the pair, as they had to battle for the decider which ended in favour of Mesa, who seemed to have found a way of always defeating his opponents despite coming from a set down.
Eventually, the Spaniard won 7-6(2) after a tough battle against the J100 Accra winner, but the Nigerian will console himself with the fact that he put in a fight till the end, and take solace in his first ever Doubles win on clay the previous day.
Ekpenyong’s attention will now shift to the next competition in Zapopan as he keeps trying to reach the peak of junior tennis stars in the world.
He kicks off his first match against one of his opponents in the J100 event, and will hope to go one better and possibly win his first ever J300 competition.