Home boy, Moses Michael Tuesday produced a great performance to defeat Aaron Alcaraz of Spain 7-6 , 6-3 to move into the second round of the Tombim Futures 1 holding at the National Tennis Centre in Abuja.
It was the second time that Michael, the only Nigerian player on the ITF ranking in the tournament (1207), was defeating the same opponent after they met last year. After taking the opener, Alcaraz blitzed won the first two games but Michael shrugged off the lethargic start to the second set top break back and help to tie and when it seemed the Spanish player was going to win the set, Michael produced a superb forehand winner.
But Alcaraz, the world no 1078, was resilient winning the next three points.
Thereafter, Michael, surprisingly at his own expense, overruled the umpire’s decision against Alcaraz but he was divinely rewarded for his sportsmanship when a shot by the big-hitting Spaniard bounced on the net only to roll back into his part of the court to take the tie break.
The players failed to break each other in the first set but Michael broke Alcaraz three times in the second set for a 6-3 win.
Michael will now face top seed from Spain, Perez Sanz in the second round. Sanz defeated Egypt’s Issam Taweel 6-3, 6-4. Mohammed Safwat, the second seed from Egypt also advanced with a 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 win over Indian Chandril Sood.