With the clay-court Rainoil Open event in Lagos now over, players converge in Abuja this week to battle it out for top honours at the 2nd edition of the Vemp Open.
Main draw action serves off on Monday in both the men’s and women’s fields, with the players in action on the day looking to book second round spots.
Ranked No. 5 in the country, Thomas Otu, who finished in the second round here last year, opens his account this week against Nonso Madueke. Otu is fresh off a quarter-final run at the Rainoil Open in Lagos last week and will be hoping to better that run here this week.
Nigeria’s No. 6, Musa Mohammed begins his campaign against qualifier, Linus Paul on Monday. Mohammed, who reached the semifinals of the Dala Championship last month, but could only go as far as the third round at the Rainoil Open last week, will be looking to put together a stronger outing in Abuja this week.
Peter Lawal, a quarter-finalist in last week’s Rainoil Open, will look to get off to fine start here, in Abuja, when he takes on Musa Bala for a place in the second round.
Wildcards, Canice Abua and Usman Kushimo will go head-to-head with a place in the second round on the line. Abua was in sensational form on the Junior Circuit last month, as he won his first ITF Junior title at the NTF International Junior Championships in Abuja. Before then, he claimed Gold for Kogi State at the National Youth Games in September. Can he translate that form into the senior level this week?
In the women’s singles field, last year’s runner-up, Loveth Donatus opens her account against qualifier, Ramota Odeyemi. Donatus is on the back of a second round outing at the Rainoil Open last week. Can she do better this week and enjoy another fine run at this event?
Nigeria’s No. 6, Blessing Anuna, takes on youngster, Mary Udoffa in the first round. Anuna, who fell short in the first round here last year, will try to do better this week.
In other match-ups, qualifiers, Pauline Ebijimi and Toyin Asogba will face off, while Jumai Mohammed squares off against Temitope Fashanu. Ronke Akingbade, a quarter-finalist last year, takes on Christie Nwankwo.
Matches are live on Monday at the National Tennis Centre in Abuja.