Teenage stars, Oiza Yakubu and Marylove Edwards advanced to the semifinals in the girls 16 & under individual event at the ITF/CAT African Junior Championship qualifiers in Togo on Tuesday. Ganiyu Mubarak and Mohammed Idris also progressed to the semi-finals in the boys 14 & under category.
Edwards went through two rounds of matches, performing impressively to make progress. The 14-year-old, who finished as runner-up in the singles category here last year, outclassed Marie-Stella Tsawlassou of Benin 6-1, 6-0 in the second round before securing a comfortable 6-2, 6-2 quarter-final victory over Ivory Coast’s Sadjo Coulibaly to reach the semi-finals.
Elsewhere, Oiza Yakubu made light work of Lea Besoux of Gabon in the quarter-finals, winning 6-2, 6-0 to move into the last four.
Ganiyu Mubarak and Mohammed Idris, both competing in the boys 14 & under category, also advanced to the semi-finals. Mubarak was rock-solid in his quarter-final contest against Eytan Messiem of Congo, winning 6-3, 6-4, while Idris was virtually flawless in his quarter-final meeting against Junior Dogbe as he handed the Togolese a double bagel.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian players in the boys 16 & under are out of the singles and now have only the doubles to compete in, in the individual event. Suleiman Ibrahim had won his second round encounter against Mariano Kpodeziaou of Benin 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, before falling short to Francky Hoimian of Ivory Coast 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 in the quarter-finals.
Canice Abua had secured passage to the quarter-finals after beating Borris Esono of Cameroon 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 in the second round, but came up short in his bid to secure a semi-final place as he lost to Ivorian Jouassi Kouadio 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 in the quarter-finals.
David Dawariye was beaten by Hermann Ndonfack of Cameroon 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 in the second round.
Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Sierra Leone and host nation, Togo are featuring in the 9-day event, which serves as qualifier for the African Junior Championships slated for March 2020 In South Africa.
Action continues on Wednesday at the Stade Omnisports Eyadema and AAT Tennis Club in Lome.