- Adetunji, McLeod, Marylove crash out of singles
Nigeria’s Michael Osewa caused the biggest upset so far at the ongoing 39th ITF/CAT Africa Junior Tennis Championship in Pretoria, South Africa by beating tournament’s number one seed, Younes Adnane of Morocco 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 to qualify for the quarterfinal of the boy’s 14&under.
The sixth-seeded Osewa started the tournament on a losing note as he fell 6-4, 6-4 to Eliakin Coulibaly of Cote d’Ivoire but bounced back to contention with back-back wins over Salum Mutabazi of Burundi and Codie Van Schalkwyk of Namibia to set up a last-16 clash with Adnane.
The game at the University of Pretoria High Performance Centre seems to be heading the way of form book as the Moroccan took the first set in a convincing manner, defeating series of winners for a 6-1 triumph.
However, Osewa, a semifinalist at the last edition in Tunisia, took the second set 6-3 forcing Adnane to lose his unblemished record as he was yet to drop a set before.
Osewa completed a memorable encounter in a 6-2 final set to set up a quarterfinal meeting with Jason Espitalien of Mauritius.
Team Nigeria had on Sunday recorded seven wins out of the nine matches they featured but yesterday was not all rosy as Gabriel Friday was knocked out by South Africa’s Kholowalm Montsi 6-4, 6-4. It was the same fate for Christopher Bulus and Barakat Quadri who both lost their round of 16 matches.
Friday was adjudged as one of the standout performers of the tournament winning all his preliminary matches – the most memorable of which was against Morocco’s Assil Boussairy – in straight sets but had his run halted by the homeboy.
Christopher Itodo also exited the boy’s 16&under on Monday as he lost 6-0, 6-0 to Philip Henning of South Africa to join Adetayo Adetunji, Angel McLeod and Marylove Edward who all failed to progress from the preliminaries.
Fortunately, all the Nigerian players are still in the race for the doubles title with Adetunji and McLeod qualifying for the quarterfinal of the girl’s 16&under doubles while Quadri and Edward are also in the last-eight of the 14&under.
Osewa and Gabriel are also through to the last-eight in the boy’s 14&under doubles while Itodo and Bulus have also booked a spot in the 16&under doubles.