Quadre, Sylvester Are CBN Tennis Champions

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Barakat Oyinlomo Quadre

Teen sensation, Oyinlomio Quadre, clinched her first Central Bank of Nigeria Open singles crown on Saturday with a resounding 6-0, 6-1 win over Christy Agugbom while defending champions Sylvester Emmanuel retained his men’s singles title with a 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Abdulmumin Babalola.

A packed final at the Centre Court of the National Tennis Centre, Abuja saw the Morocco-based Quadre dominated the clash to announce her arrival at the top of domestic stage. Quadre, one of the best talents in junior tennis in Africa in recent times, said she would work harder knowing that all eyes are on her.

“I’m very happy to win my first CBN title; this is a dream comes true for me because CBN is one tournament that every Nigerian player cherished,” said the 16-year-old

In the men’s singles final, Babalola’s chase for a record seventh CBN Open title was dashed by Emmanuel who has now cemented his position as the undisputed top player in Nigeria. The champions each pocketed N700, 000 while the finalists got N500, 000.

Quadre also paired Mary Tenu-Michael to beat the duo of Agugbom and Blessing Samuel to clinch the women’s doubles with Babalola and Lawal Shehu clinching the men’s doubles at the expense of Joseph Imeh and Christian Paul.

Alex Adewale and Kafayat Omisore both clinched the men’s and ladies’ singles in the wheelchair tennis with Adewale clinching his sixth-successive title by beating Wasiu Yusuf 6-1, 6-0 while Omisore edged Chituru Nwazuru 4-6, 6-4, 11-9.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said at the prize presentation ceremony that the apex bank is totally committed to the sponsorship of the tournament.

Emefiele, who was represented by CBN Head of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, said the championship has served as the springboard to limelight for Nigerian tennis players and CBN is determined to take it to a higher level.

NTF President, Ifedayo Akindoju, pointed that there has been tremendous players’ improvement pointing that the emergence Quadre, who defeated a hosts of experienced players on her way to the title, is an attestation to the impact that the tournament has made over the years.

He commended the CBN for its unremitting support for Tennis in Nigeria pointing to their sponsorship of the CBN Juniors which is in its 16th year.