Players from the South-west and South-south Zones of the country completely dominated the eight events of the Chevron Junior Tennis Masters which ended at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club on Sunday.
The tournament which featured two age categories – boys and girls 12s and 16s – was the culmination of a three-month long training programme which impacted over 1500 school and out-of-school children in seven target locations.
The masters tournament featured the best players from the training programmes and the best players from the six zones of the country.
The grand finale started with the girl’s 12 between Nene Yakubu of the South-west, runner up in the last edition, and Favour Amaechi from the South-south.
Yakubu who was favoured to win and got majority support from about 1000 students and children who attended the finals, overcame a late surge from Amaechi which saw the Port Harcourt-based girl take the second set to win 10-7, 8-10, 10-3.
The boy’s 12 final took an almost similar pattern with the No.1 seed, Seun Ogunsakin (aka Nadal) from the South-west, also a runner-up in the last edition, rallying back from a set down to clinch the title 7-10, 10-5, 10-8.
Rebecca Ekpeyong of the South-south retained her title with a tough 12-10, 10-12, 10-3 victory over Jesutoyosi Adeusi of the South west.
With top 16s like Omolade Aderemi, Favour Moses, and Omolayo Bamidele promoted to the seniors, it was assumed that 15 year-old Ekpeyong was going to have an easy tournament but that proved not to be the case as she also had a testy semifinal match against Mary Udofa from the North-central.
Daniel Adeleye from the South-west prevented a family sweep of the 16s by the Ekpeyongs by defeating David Ekpeyong, younger brother of Rebecca, 10-7, 11-13, 10-4.
“We are happy with the outcome” said Peter Ekpeyong father of Rebecca and David. “We have a lot of sports talent in the South – south and it is obvious that the Chevron Tennis Programme is yielding dividends by bringing up the sporting talent in the zone.”
The Chairman/Managing Director of Chevron Nigeria, Mr Jeffrey Ewing, in a brief speech commended the impressive standard of the young players and in his words “a well run tournament.”
The grand finale attracted a lot of dignitaries including the deputy governor of Lagos State, who was represented as well as the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr Segun Dawodu who also made some remarks commending the sponsors and organisers for a far reaching project. Also making a cameo appearance and taking pictures with the champions was Nigerian-born Frenchman, Calvin Emery, winner of the two legs of the 2019 Lagos Open.