Defending champion and top seed Thomas Otu, yesterday bagged a hard-fought 7-6, 6-7, 6-5 (ret) win over Joseph Ubon to book a semifinal ticket in the men’s singles of the 38th Central Bank of Nigeria Open Tennis Championship in Lagos.
Otu’s win keeps him on course for a rematch of last year’s final with Moses Michael, who on his part defeated Lawal Shehu 6-3, 6-2.
Otu will face Sylvester Emmanuel, a 6-3, 6-2 winner of Sunday Emmanuel, while Michael keeps a date with Abdulmumin Babalola, who triumphed 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 over Nonso Madueke.
A potential rematch of last year’s final in the women’s singles is also in the offing with the duo of title holder Melissa Ifidzhen and Christy Agugbom advancing to Friday’s semifinal.
Melissa, who was stretched by Oyinlomo Quadri in her first match, seems to have rediscover her form as she swept aside Patience Onobamhoin 6-0, 6-0 while Agugbom triumphed 7-5, 6-3 over Ronke Akingbade.
Ebere Fortune and Blessing Samuel filled the last-four spaces with 7-5, 6-0 and 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 wins over Christy Nwankwo and Aanu Aiyegbusi respectively.
In the men’s doubles, the duo of Abdulmumin Babalola and Lawal Shehu defeated defending champions Albert Bikom and Sunday Maku 6-3, 4-6, 10-4 while Moses Michael and Christian Paul beat Albert Aniele and Ikechukwu Iloputa 6-3, 6-2 to move to the quarterfinal.
Adamu Sani and Thomas Otu also progressed with 6-3, 6-3 win over Clifford Enosoregbe and Stanley Maduekwe.
Rose Abu and Princess Olowu edged the combination of Loveth Donatus and Christy Nwankwo 7-6, 6-4 and they are joined in the semifinal of the women’s doubles by Blessing Anuna and Ronke Akingbade by beating Afolarin Akosile and Folashade Ogunshola 1-0 (ret).