Group stage action got under way on Tuesday at the 5th edition of the SNEPCo Futures Tennis Championship in Lagos, with the top seeds getting off to great starts in the various age categories.
In the boys Under 12s, which is split into four groups, top seed, Seun Ogunsakin, who’s aiming for his third junior title this year, recovered from a shaky start to beat Aina Henry 8-10, 10-2, 10-3 in Group A. The 10-year-old won the Under 12 title at the Chevron Junior Tennis Championship and the CBN Junior Open this year, and is a favourite to go all the way this week in Lagos.
Elsewhere, 2nd seed, Mohammed Idris started strongly before going on to record a 10-2, 10-8 victory over Emmanuel Ameh in Group B.
The top-seeded player in the girl Under 12s, Favour Amaechi produced a flawless performance to beat Manie Nikita 10-0, 10-0 in Group A. Mary Azi, meanwhile, who’s seeded second and in Group B, got past Juanita Mueke 12-10, 10-4. Azi won the Under-10 title at the Play Your Age event in Abuja last month, but has now moved up to the Under 12 category.
In the boys Under-14 category, top seed, Isaac Danjuma made light work of Israel Taiwo to win 10-3, 10-2 in Group A, while 2nd seed, Ganiyu Mubarak, who’s looking to reign supreme here after his runner-up finish at the CBN Junior Open earlier this month, opened his account with a 10-5, 10-6 victory over Elijah Egena.
Elsewhere, the top two seeds in the girls Under 14s, Imole Afolabi and Schola Otu, had no problems in their respective opening encounters, with Afolabi registering a comfortable 10-2, 10-5 win over Simisola Okajare and Otu beating Princess Aluko 10-3, 10-5.
In the boys Under 16s, top seed, David Dawariye, who clinched the CBN Junior Open title earlier this month, had to fend off a stiff challenge from Jimoh Taofeek in his opening match to prevail 10-5, 7-10, 10-7.
Similarly, 2nd seed Suleiman Ibrahim, who finished as runner-up at the CBN Junior Open, came through his opening match in three sets, winning 10-8, 6-10, 10-4 against Michael Ogunjiofor.
Meanwhile, Omolade Aderemi, who’s the top seed in the girls 16 and Under category, failed to get off to a winning start, as she was beaten in three sets by the unseeded Esther Azi in three sets. Having lost a tight first set, Aderemi rallied to take the second set and force a decider. However, Azi proved too strong for Aderemi, as she went on to seal an 11-9, 5-10, 10-4 victory.
Meanwhile, defending champion, Omolayo Bamidele began her title-defense campaign with straight sets win over Faith Ameh. Bamidele, who won the Most Outstanding Player award in last year’s edition, powered to a 10-4, 10-7 victory in Group B. Elsewhere, 3rd seed Favour Moses rallied from a set down to beat Favour Ebunu 9-11, 10-5, 10-6.
Results on Day 1
Boys 12 and Under
Seun Ogunsakin bt. Aina Henry 8-10, 10-2, 10-3
Victor Hemba bt. Toluwase Oshiga 10-1, 10-3
Satyam Marya bt. Onyekachi Ogunjiofor 10-5, 5-10, 11-9
Mohammed Idris bt. Emmanuel Ameh 10-2, 10-8
Arwal Jaji bt. Orisabiyi Adebayo 10-3, 7-10, 10-7
Paul Idoko bt. Yohanna Yakubu 10-3, 10-6
Precious Ikeuba bt. Peter Idoko 10-6, 10-8
David Edwards bt. Prince Emeka 10-8, 10-5
Lucky Danjuma bt. Kazeem Kushimo 10-2, 10-1
Praise Ikeuba bt. Seyi Ogunsakin 12-10, 12-10
Girls 12 and Under
Favour Amaechi bt. Manie Nikita 10-0, 10-0
Peace Agbeje bt. Adesewa Olaniyan 10-7, 10-8
Mary Azi bt. Juanita Mueke 12-10, 10-4
Esther Ehimebe bt. Bright Emmanuel 10-2, 10-5
Faith Adeusi bt. Justina Emmanuel 10-4, 10-5
Lorelax Holzendorf bt. Nnena Yorumu 10-8, 7-10, 10-7
Benjamin Mary bt. Ndidi Osaji 10-0, 10-3
Success Ogunjobi bt. Christiana Benjamin 10-5, 13-11
Boys 14 and Under
Isaac Danjuma bt. Israel Taiwo 10-3, 10-2
Samuel Olubuade bt. Moses Olamilekan 9-11, 10-8, 10-3
Ganiyu Mubarak bt. Elijah Egena 10-5, 10-6
Chinedu Sunday bt. Bode Lawal 10-4, 10-4
Phillip Pyagbara bt. Isaac Silas 10-2, 3-10, 10-7
Fillipo Trombi bt. Basil Ajao 10-8, 6-10, 10-2
Michael Nekekpemi bt. Arwal Garba 8-10, 10-7, 10-5
Joseph Jimoh bt. Ayomide Oduwaye 10-3, 10-4
Girls 14 and Under
Imole Afolabi bt. Simisola Okajare 10-2, 10-5
Schola Otu bt. Princess Olamide Aluko 10-3, 10-5
Boys 16 and Under
David Dawariye bt. Jimoh Taofeek 10-5, 7-10, 10-7
Usman Garba bt. Emma Ope 10-6, 10-3
Suleiman Ibrahim bt. Michael Akinmusire 10-8, 6-10, 10-4
Monday Odey bt. Emeka Ogunjiofor 6-10, 10-8, 10-6
Daniel Adeleye bt. Taofik Mogaji 10-5, 10-6
Gbolahan Oladipupo bt. Mumuni Ramat 10-7, 10-8
Ali Abubakar bt. Gbolahan Olaniyan 4-10, 10-2, 10-5
Sunday Ameh bt. Peter Egena 13-11, 10-3
Girls 16 and Under
Esther Azi bt. Omolade Aderemi 11-9, 5-10, 10-4
Destiny Okhinaye bt. Esther Ajayi 10-8, 10-2
Omolayo Bamidele bt. Faith Ameh 10-3, 10-7
Peace Udoh bt. Fatima Ganiyu 10-1, 10-4
Favour Moses bt. Favour Ebunu 9-11, 10-5, 10-6
Mary Udoffa bt. Ngowari Jim-Jaja 10-3, 10-3
Group stage action continues on Wednesday at the National Tennis Centre in Surulere, Lagos.