Blessing Samuel will kick-start her 2019 season as the top-ranked female player in Nigeria. The 28-year-old replaced Sarah Adegoke as No.1 in the country after a remarkable 2018 season in which she won a hattrick of national titles.
Adegoke, who’s now ranked second, had held the top spot for over a year. The 21-year-old, in 2017, triumphed in all national tournaments bar the Dala Hard Court in Kano, where she was beaten by Blessing Samuel in the final. For her exploits, she ended the year as No.1 and was adjudged the best player in the country.
She resumed normal duties in 2018, clinching the CBN Open title in Abuja after a three-sets win over Christie Agugbom, and it looked as though it was going to be another rather clean sweep that year.
But Samuel would emerge, making title-winning runs in three consecutive tournaments —the Vemp Open in Abuja in September, the Rainoil Open in Lagos in November, and then, claimed her 5th Dala Hard Court title after beating Adegoke in Kano to end the year as number one.
36-year-old Christie Agugbom, who made runner-up finishes at the CBN Open and the Rainoil Open last year, sits in 3rd place, while Patience Onebamhoin and Aanu Aiyegbusi are 4th and 5th, respectively.
Ronke Akingbade, Bunmi Are, Ebere Fortune, Osariemen Airhunwunde and Mary-Tenu Michael complete the top 10, respectively.
In the doubles, Veteran Christie Agugbom and Blessing Samuel are ranked No.1 and 2, respectively, but are both tied on the same points. Bukola Olowu sits in third place, while Rose Abu ranks 4th. The dynamic Sarah Adegoke, who’s well-suited for the singles discipline, sits outside the top 10 in 13th.