The Dala Hard Court Championship has reached its business end in Kano, with players going all out to book a place in the last four on Thursday.
Former champions, Sylvester Emmanuel and Thomas Otu clash, with a place in the semifinals on the line. In the women’s field, 5-time champion, Blessing Samuel, and teenage star, Oyinlomo Quadre, will look to keep going.
Emmanuel, a 2-time winner here, hasn’t dropped a set so far, accounting for Musa Bala and Emmanuel Paul in straights to make the quarter-finals. The 21-year-old, who’s Nigeria’s No. 1, will now be looking to get past Thomas Otu and remain on course for his 3rd title here.
Otu, meanwhile, needed three sets, 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-2, to get past qualifier, John Dickson, in the first round. The 2017 champion, however, hit peak form in the second round against Christian Paul, as he dismissed his countryman, 6-4, 6-1. Can he keep up the momentum and stay on track for a second title?
This will be a repeat of the pair’s semifinal encounter at the 2019 CBN Open in June, which Emmanuel won 6-4, 6-1. Will he prevail again? Or will Otu get his revenge and advance? Both men open play on Centre Court.
Top seed, Blessing Samuel goes head-to-head with Ronke Akingbade on Court 5. Samuel is gunning for a slice of history as she looks to secure an historic 6th title, tying Fatima Abinu’s record. Like Akingbade, Samuel had no problems making the quarter-finals on Wednesday. Can she keep it going?
Teen sensation, Oyinlomo Quadre, who won this year’s CBN Open, continues her quest for a second consecutive national title. The teenager outclassed her coeval, Omolayo Bamidele, 6-1, 6-1 in the previous round and will try to maintain the intensity against Osariemen Airhunwhunde.
In other match-ups, defending champion and 2nd seed, Joseph Imeh, will fancy his chances against Oche Adehi, when both men square off on Court 3 for a last four spot.
Qualifier, Ajang Sylvanus confronts Musa Mohammed. Sylvanus has impressed so far, coming from four qualifying matches to reach the quarter-finals. He sped past four-time champion, Lawal Shehu, 6-1, 6-1 in the second round and will come into this match against Mohammed with plenty of confidence.
Mohammed, though, is in superb form, fresh off a title-run at the NTF International Junior Championships last weeek, and should present a tough test for Sylvanus.
Uche Oparaoji will take on Godsgift Timibra. Aanu Aiyegbusi will face veteran, Blessing Anuna, in the women’s field, while Loveth Donatus meets Patience Onebamhoin.
Matches begin from 10:00am at the Kano Club, Kano.