The Nigerian boys’ team capped off an impressive week of tennis at the African Junior Championship Finals qualifiers for Under-12 in Cotonou after beating Mali 2-1 to finish in third place at the event, while the girls’ team dismantled Sierra Leone 3-0 to seal a 5th place finish.
The boys, having narrowly lost to Ghana in the semis on Saturday, took on Mali in a third-place contest, and didn’t disappoint.
The team eased to a 1st singles straight-sets victory, with Seun Ogunshakin registering a 6-3, 6-2 win. However, in the second singles, Precious Ikeuba met a sterner opposition, one he tried to get round, before going down 3-6, 4-6.
The team would regroup in the doubles rubber, with Seun Ogunshakin and Mohammed Idris joining forces, as they have done all week, to secure a 6-2, 7-5 victory and seal a third place finish for Nigeria in their category.
Meanwhile, in the girls’ category, Salamatu Haruna, Niniola Ajulo, and Imole Afolabi all turned on strong performances to beat the Sierra Leoneans 3-0 and secure a 5th place finish at the event.
Salamatu Haruna was rock solid in her 6-3, 6-2 win, and Niniola Ajulo followed suit, steamrolling her opponent for a 6-0, 6-2 win. Imole Afolabi got in on the action in the doubles, teaming up with Niniola to claim a 6-0, 6-4 win.
Eight West African national teams took part in the event, but only the one team from the boys’ category (the Ghanaian team after beat Benin in the final) and two teams from the girls’ category (Ghana and Benin) qualified for the African Junior Championship Finals slated to hold in September in Morocco.