Nigeria’s number one male tennis player, David Ekpenyong, is currently on a fine run of form at the J100 event in Mexico, where he is playing some amazing tennis.
The 17-year-old African number eight junior star has had to battle a Mexican player in each of his first three games at the competition taking place in Zapopan, Mexico, and has found a way of winning the tricky ties on clay.
After getting a bye in the first round, his first opponent in the second round was Valentino Arjona, whom he battled to defeat in three sets.
Even though the Nigerian player is clearly a higher ranked player and the number four seed at the competition, he was made to sweat for his first points on Mexican soil a s the match ended 6-3, 6-7, 6-3.
Just when he thought he had overcome a Mexican, another one confronted the Nigerian Davis Cup player in the third round, but the outcome of the encounter showed it was difficult for the home player. Ekpenyong defeated Mauricio Gonzalez Castelazo Raya 6-2, 6-2 to land in the quarterfinals.
According to the draw, the defending champion of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Open competition came up against another Mexican, this time, a very formidable opponent.
Andres Delgadillo, ranked 252 in the world, gave the Nigerian teenage sensation a fight for his money as he took the first set, but Mr. Lanky was up to the task. The match which dragged to a final set thriller was eventually won by Ekpenyong 6-7, 7-5, 6-2 which he ended with a loud roar.
Those who have been monitoring the player’s progress in the past few months will observe that the Nigerian superstar player has kept rising in stock and does not seem to be slowing down a bit.
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Having successfully defeated three Mexicans back-to-back, the Nigerian’s next match is against USA’s Abhishek Thorat, another ‘banana peel’ opponent, ranked 366 in the world.
While the Nigerian has done well so far, he deserves even more credit for doing so well on clay, a surface which he says he is not totally comfortable with having played more on the hard surface.
Nigerians will keep rooting for their golden boy who keeps putting the country on the map for the very best reasons and has been recently tagged ‘generational’ by some ardent tennis supporters.