Mixed Fortunes For Nigerian Players


The first day of the Main Draws of the second leg of 2012 Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship was of mixed fortunes for Nigerian players as some of them sang victory songs to the second round of the tournament, while some crashed out.

Shehu Lawal and Sunday Maku recorded a major upset in the FCMB/Etisalat Nigerian sponsored ITF approved pro circuit this year as they upset two Egyptian players in the Men’s Doubles event. Lawal and Maku were too much for Karim-Mohammed Maamoun, the number 8th seed and Sherif Sabry, both Egyptian players, who they defeated in 6-3,4-6, 10-7 match. Lawal and Maku won the first set with a resounding 6-4, which drew applause from tennis fans.

The Egyptians, however, came back into the tie winning the second 4-6. But the local players proved the Nigerian spirit in them to round off the game 10-7 in the third set. The surprise victory saw the Nigerians earning a ticket for the second round of the Doubles event.

Earlier in the Men’s Singles, Lawal beat compatriot, Abdulmumini Babalola in straight sets of 7-6(2), 6-4 to secure a second round slot. Clifford Enosoregbe defeated Monday Igbinovia in 6-4,6-7(8),6-3 game, while Sanni Adamu sent Onyeka Mbanu packing in straight sets of 6-2,6-0.

Unlike his compatriots, it was a sad tale to tell for Kehinde Alade who lost to Egyptian Karim Hassam 6-3, 6-3. Henry Atseye and Samuel Omoile could not complete their respective matches due to injuries. Germany’s Mario Eckardt beat Atseye in 6-3, 3-0 match, while Omoile abandoned his match against Mark Fynn of Zimbabwe in the third set. The game ended 6-4, 4-6, 5-1(retired).

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Italian Alessandro Petrone defeated Umaru Balami in straight sets of 6-2, 6-2 tie.

In the Women’s Singles, Fatimah Abinu secured a second round ticket when she defeated compatriot Blessing Samuel 6-3, 7-5. Blessing Anuna beat Abiodun Oyegoke 6-1,6-0.

In other results, Chinese Jia-Jing Lu defeated Nldhi Chlumula of India 6-2,7-6(4), Kyra Shroff of India beat Nigerian Chinenye Ndidi Izuogu 6-0,6-0, Dalila Jakupovic of Slovakia defeated Shivika Burman 6-3,6-3, Madagascar teenager, Zarah Razafimahatratra beat Maria Munoz-Abreu of Venezuela 6-2,6-2, while Viktoriya Tomova of Bulgaria defeated Rhishika Sunkara of India 6-2,6-3.

Meanwhile, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola is scheduled to test his strength on court as he plays an exhibition match during the final ceremony on Saturday. The Local Organising committee, LOC, of the tourney headed by Chief Pius Akinyelure, said that Governor Fashola has agreed to play exhibition matches with the Chief Executive Officers of the two major sponsors, FCMB Plc and Etisalat Nigeria of the tournament at 2:30pm before the Men’s Singles final serves off by 3pm.

Tournament Director of the championship, Prince Wale Oladunjoye said the exhibition match is another side attraction to make the final ceremony a glamorous one.

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