Defending champion, Sylvester Emmanuel began his quest to retain the men’s singles title at the 2016 Dala Hard Court Tennis Championship holding at the Kano Tennis Club with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Tochukwu Ezeh.
His elder brother, Sunday Emmanuel, who won the title in 2013 before switching base to the US, where he spent over a year also secured an easy 6-0, 6-2 first round win over Dauda Ayuba.
However, there was a major upset in the men’s singles on Tuesday as 2014 CBN Open champion, Henry Atseye was knocked out by Emmanuel Idoko who triumphed 6-3, 6-3.
Unlike Atseye, Thomas Out, who won the CBN top prize in 2015 progressed to the second round by beating Idris Aiyu 6-4, 6-4.
Nonso Madueke was among those that earned passage to the second round after beating John Otu 6-1, 6-4 and he is joined by Albert Bikom who conquered Ibrahim Badamasi 6-4, 7-5. Joseph Imeh came from a set down to beat Monday Igbinovia 3-6, 5-3 rtd.
Youngster, Chritopher Bulus of Aces Tennis continued his impressive showing by beating Shehu Adamu 7-6, 5-1 rtd to earn a passage to the second round.
He played four qualifying tournaments before reaching this stage and he looks good to cause one or two upsets. Christopher Edward also joined the second round train with a 6-0, 6-2 triumph over Ikilil Sani-Waziri.
In the women’s singles, Christy Nwankwo defeated Pauline Ebijimi 6-3, 6-2 while Loveth Donatus dumped Colleen Orji 6-2, 6-2.
Meanwhile, men’s top seed, Moses Michael has expressed desire to win the tournament after losing the final last year.
The reigning Central Bank of Nigeria Open champion is scheduled to shift base to the US in February where he will be schooling till 2021 and he declared he wants to add the Dala title to his profile.
“I’m looking forward to go a step better this time. Winning the tournament would be a just reward for my efforts this year because I trained harder than I used to,” the Tombim-sponsored player stated.