Sylvester Emmanuel produced a rock-solid performance to beat Geuninle Ouattara of Ivory Coast in straight sets and advance to the third round of the men’s singles event at the African Games in Rabat on Sunday.
Two breaks in each set were enough to hand Emmanuel a straightforward 6-4, 6-4 victory in an hour and 41 minutes.
Up next for Emmanuel is Karim Maamoun of Egypt, who also progressed with straight sets victory.
Elsewhere, Sunday Emmanuel fell in straight sets to No.1 seed, Mohamed Safwat of Egypt. Safwat proved too much for the Nigerian, as he ran out a 6-2, 6-1 victor.
Joseph Imeh also failed to advance, having retired midway through his match with Eliakim Coulibaly due to injury. The Ivorian led 6-4, 3-0 before Imeh retired.
In the doubles, however, Imeh would return, partnering with Sylvester Emmanuel to power past the Namibian duo of Jean Erasmus and Gideon Van Dyk 7-6(1), 6-0 in 64 minutes and move into the round of 16, where they’ll take on the Zimbabwean pair of Takanyi Garanganga and Mehluli Sibanda.
In the other men’s doubles match, Emmanuel Sunday and Thomas Otu couldn’t contain the Zimbabwean duo of Benjamin Lock and John Lock, as they were beaten 6-3, 6-2 in an hour.
Elsewhere, Oyinlomo Quadre and Adesuwa Osabuohein combined brilliantly to swat aside the Tunisian pair of Feryel Ben Hassen and Chiraz Bechiri 6-3, 6-2 in the women’s doubles. But Blessing Samuel and Aanu Aiyegbusi couldn’t progress after they were narrowly edged by Ethiopians, Nejat Legeba Ali and Mekedes Shumet 7-6(13), 0-6, 10-8.
Samuel and Aiyegbusi had lost the first set via a closely-fought tiebreaker, but they responded brilliantly in the second to hand the Ethiopians a bagel and force a deciding set. Ali and Shumet would ultimately prevail though, edging the Nigerians 10-8 in a super tiebreaker to secure victory in an hour and 36 minutes.