6-time champion, Abdulmumin Babalola survived a scare from qualifier Gabriel Friday in the first set before going on to record a straight-sets win and advance to the second round of the CBN Open in Abuja on Tuesday.
Babalola overcame a sluggish start to beat Friday 7-5, 3-0 rtd. Friday had made the brighter start, hitting impressively to open up a 4-0 lead in the first set, but Babalola would battle back to level matters.
Despite the crowd cheering Friday on, the youngster couldn’t do much as Babalola broke in the 12th game to wrap up the set. The 34-year-old would assume full control in the second set, racing to a 3-0 lead before Friday retired due to injury.
Babalola will continue his bid for a record-equalling 7th title when he next takes on Emmanuel Jebutu, who dispatched Benjamin Chinedu 6-2, 6-1.
Also, 3-time winner, Shehu Lawal was on song in his first round encounter, as he completely dominated Abubakar Saminu, a qualifier, to win 6-2, 6-0 and make progress. Up next for the 34-year-old is Isaac Attah who defeated Abubakar Gingiri 6-4, 6-2. 12th seed, Michael Chima sped past Stephen Augustine 6-1, 6-1 to set up a mouthwatering second round showdown with Thomas Otu, while former national champion, Clifford Enosoregbe beat George Abamu 6-0, 6-4.
Elsewhere, Joseph Iyorovbe and Linus Paul resumed their contest today with the score at 1-set all. Upon resumption, Iyorovbe went on to win the final set to register a 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 victory. Similarly, Charles Nwandu and Kareem Badmus also resumed play with a set win apiece, before Nwandu went on to win 6-1, 6-7, 6-3.
Ajang Sylvanus bt. Niyi Ibiwoye 6-0, 6-1
Tochukwu Ezeh bt. Abraham Olatunji 6-2, 6-1
Michael Osewa bt. John Ihesie 6-2, 4-6, 4-2 rtd
Ojo Oyelami bt. Michael Ayoola 6-4, 6-2
Michael Okechukwu bt. Ernest Osinachi 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
Samson Adewale bt. Odeyemi Ayobami 7-6(8), 7-6(5)
Jonah Samuel bt. Pius Lawrence 6-3, 6-0
Dickson John bt. Opeyemi Odeyemi 3-6, 6-1, 6-0
Emmanuel Sunday bt. Musa Sani 6-3, 6-2
In the doubles event, defending champions, Abdulmumin Babalola and Shehu Lawal made a strong start, defeating the pair of Emmanuel Jebutu and Tochukwu Ezeh 6-3, 7-6(4).
Joseph Imeh and Christian Paul combined brilliantly to ease to a comfortable 6-2, 6-4 win over the duo of Kayode Savage and Jonah Samuel, while Sylvester Emmanuel and Clifford Enosoregbe staved off a determined challenge from Godgift Timibra and David John to win 7-5, 4-6, 11-9.
Elsewhere, the teenage duo of Philips Abayomi and Gabriel Friday handed Ojo Oyelami and Solomon Mesagbor a double bagel.
Other first round doubles results
Anthony Leo/Michael Ambrose bt. Ridwan Morakinyo/Wumi Ogunsakin 6-2, 4-6, 13-11
Ikechukwu Iloputa/Kesiye Maxwell bt. Michael Osewa/Michael Olajimbiti 6-3, 6-2
Emmanuel Idoko/Oche Adehi bt. Idris Ibrahim/Ali Ibrahim 6-0, 6-0
Nonso Madueke/Albert Bikom bt. Musa Briamoh/Tosin Akinwumi 6-0, 6-3
John Otu/Tosin Abiodun bt. Jubrin Hassan/Idris Aliyu 6-3, 6-2
Sanni Adamu/Bala Musa bt. Benson Azuka/Michael Akinyeju 6-1, 6-0
Kareem Badmus/Joseph Iyorovbe bt. Taiwo Owolabi/Stephen Augustine 3-6, 6-3, 11-9
Samuel Akhaga/Charles Uwandu bt. Linus Paul/John Dickson 6-2, 7-6(5)
Michael Ayoola/Musa Sani bt. Henry John/Emmanuel Ikakah 2-6, 7-6(8), 10-4
Samson Adewale/Michael Okechukwu bt. Dauda Ayuba/Saidu Mohammed 6-4, 4-0 rtd
Chima Michael/Uche Oparaorji bt. Olaniyi Ibiwoye/Opeyemi Odeyemi 6-3, 3-6, 10-6
Thomas Otu/George Abamu vs Musa Mohammed/Emmanuel Sunday. 1 set all. To be completed on Wednesday.