Saturday’s men’s singles final pits the top seed, Sylvester Emmanuel against 2nd seed and defending champion, Joseph Imeh, in a repeat of last year’s final.
Sylvester has moved through to another final and victory over Imeh would give him his 3rd Dala Hard Court title after victories here, in 2015 and 2016.
Having defeated Musa Bala, Emmanuel Paul and Thomas Otu all in straight sets in the top half of the draw, Emmanuel claimed a fine 6-4, 6-2 victory over Nigeria’s No. 5 Uche Oparaoji in Friday’s semifinals to set up a mouthwatering showdown with Imeh.
Imeh, meanwhile, booked his place in the final with a comfortable 6-1, 6-1 victory over Musa Mohammed in the semifinals. Before then, the defending champion had dismissed qualifiers, Joshua Daniel and Isaac Attah, and Oche Adehi.
Imeh took out Emmanuel 7-6, 6-4 in last year’s final. And a repeat result on Saturday will see him secure his second straight Dala crown.
Though, that wasn’t the only final they played last year, as Emmanuel had earlier prevailed over his countryman in the 2018 Vemp Open final.
Who will emerge victorious here?
It was plain sailing for Oyinlomo Quadre in the women’s singles semifinals against Patience Onebamhoin on Friday; the 16-year-old producing a strong performance for a 6-0, 6-0 win. She will now try to claim her second straight national title–after her CBN Open victory in June–when she plays Aanu Aiyegbusi in the final.
Aiyegbusi, in the semifinals against top seed, Blessing Samuel, shook off a nervy start to run out a 1-6, 6-1, 6-2 winner. That was the only inconvenience she had all week, as she had previously eased past Mary Udoffa 6-1, 6-2 and Blessing Anuna 6-3, 6-1. Can she get past the final hurdle?
Quadre heads into this final in dominant form. Only last week, she won her 3rd ITF Junior title at the J5 Abuja event and has unsurprisingly kept up the form in Kano this week. Will she prove too good for Aiyegbusi?