Oiza Yakubu, the fast rising Nigerian tennis kid on the bloc, has earned a Wild Card to play in the Zenith Bank ‘Next Gen’ Junior Tennis Masters in Lagos, Nigerian Tennis Live has gathered.
The youngster who won the Girls’ 14 title got the wild card by virtue of her exceptional performance at the recently concluded CBN Junior Tennis Open, where she retained the title which she won last year.
Gabriel Friday, the Boys’ 16 title holder who is presently representing Nigeria in Tunisia at the 2018 ITF/CAT AJC is also a recipient of the wild card slot to play the Masters which is scheduled to take place at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos from 24 – 28 April.
|Oiza Yakubu, a left-handed youngster, is one player that Nigerians should watch out for in the coming years.|
The International Tennis Academy (ITA), organisers of the inaugural event, announced the wild cards in Lagos on Wednesday and said the decision was based on the outstanding performance of these two players in the junior championship.
“They both displayed a very high level of play and we hope that giving them a wild card and having them take part in the Zenith Masters will boost their confidence,” Godwin Kienka, director of the ITA said.
The Zenith Bank “Next Gen” Masters is featuring eight boys and girls in the 17 to 18 age bracket with the aim of fast tracking their progress into the senior ranks. Seven of these players who all developed through the ITA Junior Tennis Circuit platform are already in the top 30 of the senior ranking list.
The players invited for the Masters event are: Godgift Timibra, Michael Oshewa, Stephen Augustine, Chris Itodo, Tochukwu Ezeh, Abayomi Philips, Emmanuel Jebutu and Michael Ayoola for the boys’ event.
Toyin Asogba, Oyinlomo Quadri, Favour Moses, Omolade Aderemi, Omolayo Bamidele, Mariam Alli-Balogun, Rebecca Ekpeyong and Kasara Adegboyega are listed for the girls.
According to the organisers, the players will be divided into two round robin groups with the top two emerging to play through the semifinals to the finals.
“‘It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Kienka added.