December 9, 2015

Gov’s Cup: Six Nigerians in line of fire

Gov’s Cup: Six Nigerians in line of fire

Austin Okocha returns the ball at the launch of the NCC Tennis League in Lagos

By John Egbokhan
Whoever said   professional tennis is easy needs a quick rethink as no fewer than six Nigerian players will face the firing line today in the second round matches of the Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Futures 1 at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club I Onikan.

After their relatively easy passage on the opening days of the only international point awarding tournament in the country, the real test of character starts for the home players, who must now bring in their A-game to stand any chance of progressing to the quarter-final.

Sylvester Emmanuel, a former Chevron Tennis Academy player, who upset American Anderson Reed in the first round on Monday, will have his hands full when he confronts men’s singles number two seed Pere Riba of Spain. This is potentially the highlight of the day’s matches as Emmanuel, seeks to continue his giant-killing streak event sactioned y the International Tennis Federation.

According to the order of  play, Albert Bikom squares up against top seed, Aldin Setkic of Bosnia, in a match that tennis faithful feel may mark the end of the road for the Nigerian, given the imperious play of the French guy in his opening match.

It gets hotter for the home stars as Thomas Otu  battles Van Der Duim of The Netherlands, while Christian Paul confronts last year’s finalist, Duncan Mugabe of Uganda, who interestingly is the sixth seed.

In the Women’s Singles draw, home-girl, Osariemen Airhunmwunde comes us against Andrianjafitrimo Tessah of France, while another crowd favourite, Ronke Akingbade  confronts sixth seed, Uirkke Eikeri from Norway.

Other matches of the second round will see South African Llyod Harris taking on David Pel of The Netherlands in the men’s singles, while Murta Lazareva of Russia will battle Thombere Prarthana Thombre of India in the women’s singles.