In the men’s field on Friday, Joseph Imeh, the defending champion, and youngster, Musa Mohammed will look to cement their impressive Dala Hard Court form with a place in the men’s final, while Sylvester Emmanuel, the top seed, and Uche Oparaoji clash in the other semis.
Imeh is chasing his second consecutive Dala title and has kept his bid well alive with outstanding performances this week. The 2nd seed has beaten Joshua Daniel, Isaac Attah and Oche Adehi all in straight sets to come within a match-win of another final here.
Like Imeh, Mohammed hasn’t dropped a set leading up to the semifinals. The 17-year-old has had it easy; a 6-0, 6-0 dismissal of Aliyu Idris in the first round, a walkover against Nonso Madueke in the second, and a solid 6-3, 6-4 win over Ajang Sylvanus. He will, however, now face his toughest test yet in Imeh. Mohammed has been in outstanding touch recently, making back-to-back ITF Junior finals at the NTF International Juniors in Abuja, and has done well to carry that form into this week’s event. Can he cause a major upset? Or will Imeh prove too much for the teenager?
Whoever comes through that encounter will have either Sylvester Emmanuel, the tournament’s top seed, or Uche Oparaoji, Nigeria’s No. 5, to contend with in the final.
Both players have yet to drop a set, with Emmanuel aiming for back-to-back national titles and a 3rd Dala crown, too. Oparaoji, who made the quarter-finals last year, has gone one better, as he took out Godsgift Timibra 6-2 6-3 on Thursday to reach the semis this time. Can he find the edge against Emmanuel?
In the women’s field, 5-time champion, Blessing Samuel, and Aanu Aiyegbusi face off, while Oyinlomo Quadre takes on Patience Onebamhoin in the other semis.
Quadre came into this week’s event fresh off an ITF Junior title-triumph at the NTF International Juniors in Abuja. She hasn’t dropped a set so far and will be looking to keep up the intensity against Onebamhoin, who has also reached the stage without losing a set, beating Oluchi Ozurumba and Loveth Donatus along the way.
Blessing Samuel will play Aanu Aiyegbusi with her sight set on a historic 6th Dala title. The 28-year-old claimed her 5th title last year and will be looking to tie the record of most titles won, which is held by Fatima Abinu.
Both Samuel and Aiyegbusi haven’t lost a set yet. Who’ll prevail and move into the final?
The doubles final will also take place on Friday, with the duo of Clifford Enosoregbe and Sylvester Emmanuel going head-to-head with the pair of Albert Bikom and Joseph Imeh for the title.
Singles matches begin from 10:00am at the Kano Club, while the doubles final is live from 3:00pm.