After failed attempts, last weekend was a moment of reckoning for young Michael Oshewa as he finally broke the jinx of being the only top three junior player in the country that has never won the annual NNPC/Chevron Junior Masters.
The young star was the hero of the day as he dominated his opponent, Stephen Augustine to win the 17th edition of the tournament.
Oshewa, still basking in the euphoria of Team Nigeria successful display at the last International Tennis Federation (ITF) West and Central Africa Junior Championship in Cotonou and Lome, reenacted the feat as he showed class, determination and grit before over whelming his opponent to submission in two straight sets of 6-4, 7-6.
The largely school children that turned out at the game erupted in jubilation moments after Osewa picked the decisive second set on the Lord Rumens Centre Court of Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan Lagos as the young lad inked his name as the 17th winner of the longest-running junior tennis championship in the country. Both players excited the crowd with several rallies that often go the way of the winner.
Augustine, who had lost in the last seven meetings against Oshewa, was unable to shake off the fear of facing his nemesis. He started playing catch-up from the fifth game when Oshewa broke with a right hand winner down the line,.
That was the break the latter was waiting for, putting his nose in front and never looking back as he closed out the first set 6-4 in a little 37 minutes.
If the first set was easy, the next was the reverse, as Augustine dug deep, in his attempt to take the match to a decider, rattling Oshewa as early as the third game, only to be paid back in his own coin but managed to push his foe to tie-break, which he inadvertently lost in rather dramatic fashion.
After pushing Oshewa to the brink of defeat in the second set, Augustine somehow and rather clumsily allowed the initiative to slip him, serving wide twice, before making two unforced errors to gift the set and match to Oshewa, who pumped his fist in the air to celebrate his victory.
He was cheered by the school pupils, who were truly entertained by the serves, volleys and winners of the two finalists, who made the day a truly memorable one for tennis faithful, who went home entertained and satisfied.