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Zenith Next – Gen Masters serves off with two major upsets

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The second edition of the Zenith Bank Next Generation Masters served off at the National Stadium Surulere Tennis Centre on a pulsating note with one upset each in the boys and girls round robin matches.

The tournament which is parading the top eight players between the ages of 16 and 19 in the country is aimed at prepping the top juniors to take over from the seniors and then move on to the professional circuit.

However, Marylove Edwards, Nigeria’s tennis hope based in America, who had earlier indicated interest and was given a wild card opted for the ITF Zimbabwe Junior Championship at the last minute.

In the opening round – robin matches, Toyosi Adeusi saved a match point to eventually overcome third seed, Rebecca Ekpenyong 1-6, 6-4, 14-12 in the girls’ event while Emmanuel Jebutu also came from behind to upset the fourth seed, Michael Oshewa 3-6, 6-3, 11-9.

Top seed and defending champion, Philip Abayomi had to sweat out a 6-2, 6-4 win against Tochukwu Ezeh. Unfortunately for Ezeh the match did not reflect the intensity and closeness of the encounter as Ezeh made unforced errors at very crucial moments.

The No.2 seeds in boys’ groups A and B, Godgift Timibra and Musa Mohammed respectively, had straight sets victories against their opponents. Timibra defeated Sani Musa 7-5, 6-4 and Musa beat Michael Ayoola 6-1, 6-2.

 

In the other girls matches, Favour Moses, playing in Group A, overpowered Chidinma Ezeh 6-4, 6-1 while Omolayo Bamidele bested Destiny Okhinaye 6-3, 6-4.

The second match in Group B saw Omolade Aderemi beating Jumai Mohammed 6-4, 6-1.

The best two players from each group at the end of the round robin matches will qualify for the semifinals slated for Friday.

The round – robin matches start at 9 am each day.

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