Nigeria made a fine start to their team event campaign at the ITF/CAT African Junior Championships in Lome, Togo on Friday, with victories coming in three of the four ties they played.
The Girls and Boys U16s proved too good for Benin Republic, the Boys U14 defeated Sierra Leone, while the only hiccup on the day came against host nation, Togo, in the Girls Under-14 category.
In the Girls U16s against the Beninese, Oiza Yakubu gave the team the finest of starts with a superb 6-0, 6-2 victory over Emellienne Gankpontcheo in the first singles rubber. Marylove Edwards then secured an unassailable 2-0 lead in the second singles rubber with a comprehensive 6-1, 6-0 win over Rodia Noudogbessi.
In the doubles rubber, Edwards joined forces with Rebecca Ekpenyong to make light work of the duo of Marie-Stella Tsawlassou and Rodia Noudogbessi, 6-1, 6-2, and complete a comfortable 3-0 victory.
The boys in the under 16 category also registered a 3-0 win over the Beninese, with 1-time ITF Junior champion, Canice Abua paving the way in the first singles rubber with a fine 6-0, 6-2 win over Nahum Gillian.
Suleiman Ibrahim overcame Mariano Kpodeziaou in three sets in the second rubber- the promising youngster recovering from a second set loss to beat Kpodeziaou in a third set tiebreaker for a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5) win.
David Dawariye joined in on the action in the doubles rubber, as he partnered Canice Abua to take out the pair of Nahum Gillian and Segodo Morgan 6-3, 6-3.
Elsewhere, the Boys U14 team did just enough to secure a 2-1 victory over Sierra Leone. Ganiyu Mubarak had no problems beating Sahir Williams 6-1, 6-3, before Idris Mohammed dismissed Sadia Kamara 6-1, 6-2 for a safe 2-0 lead. In the doubles rubber, however, the duo of Ganiyu Mubarak and Maxwell Joshua were edged 7-5, 7-5 by Sahir William and Sadia Kamara.
The Togolese proved too much for the girls in the Under 14 category, with Valentine Talaki edging Serena Teluwo 7-6, 6-2 in the first singles rubber. Salamatu Haruna lost 6-4, 6-2 to Grace Tchamoussa, while Serena Teluwo and Esther Oni were beaten 6-2, 6-2 by Valentine Talaki and Grace Tchamoussa in the doubles rubber.
Action continues on Saturday, 11 January, at the Stade Omnisports Eyadema and AAT Tennis Club, Lome, with the Girls U16 team taking on Togo and the Boys U16 facing Ghana.
Nigeria will face Cote d’Ivoire in the Boys U14 category, while the Girls U14 will look to bounce back from their defeat when they meet Benin.
Nigeria won Benin 3-0
Nigeria won Benin 3-0
Nigeria won Sierra Leone 2-1
Nigeria lost to Togo 0-3