Sylvester Emmanuel underlined his favourite tag for the men’s singles title at the 39th Central Bank of Nigeria Open Championship with a commanding 6-0, 6-1 win over Richard Ogbu on Monday.
The Spain-based player will meet Godgift Timibra in the second round following the Kodian Tennis Foundation youngster’s 6-2, 6-2 win over John Henry.
Clifford Enosoregbe was given a run for his money by Babalola Wale, the qualifier forcing a rubber in a match that ended 6-1, 5-7, 6-1 for Enosoregbe. The former Nigeria number one will battle Kayode Olawolu in the second round after the latter’s 6-1, 6-1 crushing of Alozie Ikechukwu.
Also through to the second round are Thomas Otu and Joseph Imeh, who defeated Chinedu Iwuagwu 6-2, 6-4, and Musa Bala 6-3, 6-2. A couple of the junior players also enjoyed first round wins as Martins Abamu, Michael Osewa, Christopher Bulus come out victorious in their matches to send warning messages to their senior colleagues.
Ageless Sunday Maku showed some old tricks to navigate his way past national junior player, Christopher Itodo 6-2, 6-2 but it was a different story for John Otu another member of the old school as he succumbed 6-1, 6-1 to Onyeka Mbanu.
Abdulmumuni Babalola also progressed with a 6-1, 1-0 ret over Ismaila Adeshina to revel in his emergence as the players’ representative while Destiny Da Silva, who lost to Babalola in Sunday evening poll, bagged a 7-5, 6-3 win over Mohammed Mohammed. Former winner, Henry Atseye had secured a comfortable 6-1, 6-1 win over Taiwo Owolabi and the second round train is joined by Nonso Maduike, Michael Michael, Ikechukwu Iloputa and Lawal Shehu among others.
In the women’s singles, second seed, Blessing Samuel defeated Omotayo Osewa 6-4, 6-4 to set up a second round meeting with Loveth Donatus who defeated Osareimen Airhunwunde 7-5, 3-1 ret.
Ngozi Dirisu secured a 6-3, 7-5 win over Faith Christopher while Patience Onebamhoin swept aside Coleen Orji 6-1, 6-0.