On Saturday, 29 June, the CBN Open singles title will be decided for in both the men’s and women’s field, as well as the wheelchair category.
For the second year running, Abdulmumin Babalola and Sylvester Emmanuel will clash in the final of the CBN Open. Both men have had a remarkable outing in Abuja this week, performing at the peak of their powers to reach yet another final. While Babalola surrendered just a set en route to the final, Emmanuel has come through without losing a set.
This final will be a repeat of last year’s, which Emmanuel famously won after coming from behind to claim a 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory in nearly 3 hours.
On Friday, they both contested two matches—the quarterfinals and semifinals—with Emmanuel first beating Nonso Madueke 6-4, 6-4 before moving past Thomas Otu 6-4, 6-1.
Similarly, Babalola defeated Godgift Timibra 6-1, 6-4 in the quarter-finals and then, showcased his resolve when he rallied from a set down to beat Joseph Imeh 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 in some 2 hours and 40 minutes of relentless hitting. The 34-year-old will now play for a slice of history, as he attempts to equal David Imonitie’s long-standing record of 7 CBN Open titles.
Can Emmanuel deny him that?
The 21-year-old top seed has been hitting freely and is brimming with confidence at the moment. He’s hoping to become the first player since Shehu Lawal in 2005 to defend the CBN Open men’s singles title. Will Babalola exact revenge for last year’s defeat and dash those hopes?
The men’s final is live from the National Tennis Centre in Abuja from 1:00pm.
In the women’s final, 37-year-old Christie Agugbom and 16-year-old Oyinlomo Quadre will go head-to-head in a ‘Clash of Generation’ match for the title.
Agugbom has characteristically breezed into another final- her sixth CBN Open final in 7 years. However, she’s emerged victorious once (2013) in that period. 5 years after her first triumph. She’ll now attempt to secure a third, but is sure to face a brutal test from her young opponent.
It has been a fortnight to remember for Quadre. The youngster, who came in from the High Performance Centre in Morocco to compete in Abuja, has been absolutely brilliant all week, easing through to the final without any trouble. A 6-0, 6-0 victory in the semifinals over Blessing Anuna underlined her ruthlessness. However, she’s now coming up against a player with a wealth of experience and plenty of tricks in the bag.
Can Quadre beat that and secure her first national title? Or will the day belong to Agugbom?
The women’s singles final is live from the National Tennis Centre, Abuja from 11:00am.
In the wheelchair final, Alex Adewale and Wasiu Yusuf will square off for the men’s singles crown. Adewale and Yusuf, both of whom have been ranked No.1 in Africa and have competed at the Paralympics, eased through their respective sections of the draw and possess enough to make this a gripping final contest. While Wasiu will attempt to win his maiden CBN Open title, Adewale will be playing for his seventh consecutive crown.
In the women’s field, Kafayat Omisore will battle Nwaozuzu Chituru for the title. Omisore, winner in 2017 & 2018, will look to secure her third straight title.
The wheelchair singles final will be live from the National Tennis Centre, Abuja from 11:00pm, also.