Tennis Top Stories
2018 AJC Qualifiers: Nigeria’s Quadri, Marylove Coast To Medals Zone
. Quadri at the AJC tournament in Togo
Team Nigeria continued to justify its high rating at the 2018 ITF/CAT West and Central Africa Junior Championship Qualifiers in Togo as four of its players set up semifinal meetings in the boy’s 16 and under as well as the boys’ 14 and under categories. It means the country is guaranteed a place in the finals of the two categories of the tournament it has emerged as overall winners since 2012.
Fast-rising youngster, Matthew Abamu upsets tournament’s second seed, Paul Wamba of Cameroun 6-3, 6-1 in the quarterfinal and the win will now see him battle his compatriot Friday Gabriel in the semifinal of the boys’ 16 and under. Kaduna-based Gabriel puts up a brilliant display against third seed, Suleiman Ouatarra of Cote d’Ivoire to win 6-2, 6-0.
The same scenario played out in the boys’ 14 and under category as Suleiman Ibrahim saw off Ghana’s Kenneth Adzokadze 7-5, 6-3 to set up a semifinal confrontation with his fellow Nigerian Usman Kushimo, who conquered second-seeded Richard Okine of Ghana.
Nigeria’s highest-ranked junior player, Oyinlomo Quadri was on top of her game as she eased to a comfortable 6-0 6-1 win over Frida Houngbo of Benin Republic to move closer to the top prize in the girls’ 16 and under while in the 14 and under, Marylove Edward, who for the first time is the top seed at an international tournament, laid credence to the form book as she dispatched Rodia Noudogbessi of Benin with embarrassing ease triumphing 6-0, 6-0.
It was not all rosy for Nigeria as Oiza Yakubu and Rebecca Ekpeyong failed to cross the quarterfinal hurdles. They joined Reya Holmes, Canice Joseph and Iye Onoja who all crashed out at early stage of the 12-nation tournament serving as route to the main tournaments billed for later in the year in South Africa and Tunisia.