Following Canice Abua’s sensational title-run in the first leg of the NTF International Junior Championships in Abuja last week, the NTF Technical Director and National Coach, Rotimi Akinloye, has heaped praise on the youngster, lauding his tenacity and dedication to the game.

Abua, who turns 15 on the 15th of November, made a stunning run from the qualifiers through the boys singles main draw to clinch the title without surrendering a set.

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Canice Abua celebrates a match win.

“I have to really commend his tenacity,” Coach Akinloye said. “He gave it all and he went through the tournament as a rookie. Nobody gave him a chance but he gave himself that believe and chance to achieve what he did.”

Two months ago, the youngster was at the National Youth Games in Ilorin, where he had a remarkable outing, powering through the boys singles event to secure Gold for his state, Kogi. Coach Akinloye, under whom Abua trains, says he’s very elated and was never in doubt about the teenager’s abilities.

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Canice Abua clinched Gold for Kogi State at the National Youth Games in September.

“Being proud is not in my DNA, I’m only happy for him because as a coach whatever a player becomes depends on him and the other thing that makes a player is to have a team that surrounds him where everyone chips in his own contribution,” the National Coach noted.

“By and large, as a coach, I’m very elated for him because I’ve seen so much in tennis and never had any doubt in my mind that Canice Abua would perform well.”

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Coach Rotimi Akinloye looks on during a match at the National Tennis Centre, Abuja, last week.

Coach Akinloye also talked about the youngster’s dedication to the sport, revealing that ever since he took to tennis, he’s been “very enthusiastic in learning”.

“It might interest you that we were neighbors and we tried to bring him to this club [Abuja Country Club]. Since then, he has been very enthusiastic in learning the trade of tennis and he’s been an unassuming person and he’s been working hard silently.

“When you look at him, he is a humble guy, he is not someone who is found wanting in training. The sky will be his limit.

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Canice Abua receives the boys singles trophy from the NTF President.

“When you look at him in the sum total he is a disciplined guy,” Coach Akinloye continued. “I hope he continues to work hard and believe in his dreams so he can actually get to the top of his tennis career.”

Canice Abua will be in action this week in the second leg, and will be aiming for another sensational campaign.