39TH ITF/CAT JNR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Nigeria’s Michael Osewa Continued His Giant-Killing Run at the ongoing 30th ITF/CAT Junior Championship in Pretoria, South Africa with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 triumph over Jason Espitalier of Mauritius to qualify for the semifinal of the 14&under of the 11-day event which will end on Saturday.
Osewa had on Monday caused the biggest shock of the tournament which attracts about 120 players from 25 countries with a-come-from-behind 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over number one seed Younes Adnane of Morocco.
And in an identical fashion to his beating of the top seed, Osewa added his opponent from the Indian Ocean island to his list of casualties in the quarterfinal clash at the High Performance Centre of the University of Pretoria.
The knockout stage has been a complete turnaround for the eighth-seeded Osewa, who started the tournament on a faltering note by losing to Eliakin Coulibaly of Cote d’Ivoire in the preliminary stage.
However, with the likes of second seed Elyes Marouani of Tunisia, Ahmed Atef of Egypt, who is the third seed and Khololwam Montsi, the tenth seeded South African, who halted the incredible run of Nigeria’s Gabriel Friday all still in the race for the title, Osewa still have to up his game if he is to rule Africa.
Nigeria’s coach Mohammed Ubale expressed confidence in Osewa declaring he could beat all his rivals to the title. He however warned that he must avoid putting himself under pressure by trailing all the time.
He said: “Osewa is very hungry for success as he has been improving since the first game which he lost.
“He needs to be calm because he is always eager to hit the winners which he hasn’t been doing perfectly. Psychologically, he is always under big pressure after losing the opening set. He needs to avoid falling behind,” Ubale noted last night.
Osewa is the only Nigerian player left in contention for a title as the likes of Friday, Christopher Itodo, Christopher Bulus, Adetayo Adetunji, Angel McLeod, Barakat Qaudri and Marylove Edward have all exited from the singles events.