Main draw action heats up at the Dayak Tennis Championships on Wednesday, with three Nigerians in first round action at the National Tennis Centre, Abuja.

The country’s No.2, Joseph Imeh, teen sensation, Musa Mohammed, and Emmanuel Audu are in action. The big guns are also on Wednesday’s menu, with Tombim Open champion, Sadio Doumbia, last week’s beaten finalist, Jaimee Floyd Angele, and 3rd seed, Arjun Kadhe, who was a semi-finalist last week, aiming for another strong week.

16-year-old Jack Draper, who won the 2nd Leg of the Lagos Open last year joins in, as he seeks to have another memorable outing in Nigeria.

Joseph Imeh was the only Nigerian to survive the qualifying rounds. The 21-year-old defeated his countryman, Emmanuel Idoko, in the first round, before outlasting William Bushamuka 7-6(4), 7-6(6) in a second round match that was completed on Tuesday.

The Nigerian phenom will now open his main draw account against his compatriot, Emmanuel Audu, who received a wild card. Imeh enjoyed a stellar 2018 on the national scene, winning back-to-back national titles towards the end of the year. He is certainly aiming to ride that momentum into his ITF World Tour campaign here in Abuja. Audu, meanwhile, is competing in only his third main draw match on the ITF World Tour, and first this year. Nonetheless, he will hoping to put on a good show when he meets his coeval for the first time on the ITF Tour.

Imeh lost in the first round of the Tombim Open last week against Ukraine’s Danylo Kalenichenko. Will he do better this week?

Musa Mohammed, aged 17, will square off against Jaimee Floyd Angele, who finished as runner-up at the Tombim Abuja Open last week. Mohammed made a good account of himself in a first round showing against Maxime Mora of France at the Tombim Open last week, where he was taken to three sets before cramps spoiled his chances of victory. That was his first-ever main draw match on the ITF World Tour.

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Musa Mohammed.

The gutsy, young Nigerian will certainly be looking to build on that this week, but it will be no easy task. His opponent, Floyd Angele, is currently in rich form and will have hopes of going one better in this tournament, as he continues his quest for a first title on the ITF Tour.

Defending champion, Maximilian Neuchrist, will open play on Court One where he will begin his title defense against Tuki Jacobs of Namibia. Neuchrist played in his first competitive match in seven months in last week’s Tombim Open, but retired due to injury midway through the encounter. The top-seeded Austrian will now seek to bounce back and get off to a good start here on Wednesday.

Tuki Jacobs is in Abuja for the second straight year. At the Dayak Championships last year, he was unable to get past the qualifying rounds. The Namibian played his first match of the season at the Tombim Open last week, losing in the first round to Brazil’s Gilbert Soares Junior. Can he go a notch higher this week?

Second seed, Sadio Doumbia will seek to stay on course for a second title in Abuja when he takes on Dutchman, Niels Lootsma, in the opening round, while Tom Jomby, who retired in the first round last week, will take on American qualifier, Jacob Gamble, for a place in the second round.

Britain’s Jack Draper, who’s seeded 7th, takes on Simon Yitbarek of Sweden. 17-year-old Draper won his 3rd ITF Tour title at the Lagos Open in October last year, and this year, made a run to the semifinals at the M25 event in Glasgow, Great Britain, in February. Yitbarek is on the back of a decent showing at the Tombim Open, where he reached the quarterfinals before falling to eventual champion, Sadio Doumbia.

Wednesday’s Order of Play

Centre Court

Starting at 10:00
Simon Yitbarek (SWE) vs. Jack Draper (GBR) [7]

Followed By
Musa Mohammed (NGR) vs. Jaimee Floyd Angele (FRA)

Not Before 12:30
Emmanuel Audu (NGR) vs. Joseph Imeh Ubon (NGR)

Followed By
Niels Lootsma (NED) vs. Sadio Doumbia (FRA) [2]

Not Before 15:00
Fabien Reboul (FRA) [5] vs. Marko Vejnovic (SWE)

Court 1

Starting at 10:00
Maximilian Neuchrist (AUT) [1] vs. Tukhula Jacobs (NAM)

Followed By
Joao Pedro Sorgi (BRA) [8] vs. Michail Pervolarakis (GRE)

Not Before 12:30
Guy Orly Iradukunda (BDI) vs. Maxime Mora (FRA)

Followed By
Luke Jacob Gamble (USA) vs. Tom Jomby (FRA) [4]

Court 5

Starting at 10:00
Peter Kobelt (USA) vs. Boris Butulija (SRB)

Followed By
Arjun Kadhe (IND) [3] vs. Dominik Palan (CZE)

Not Before 12:30
Gilbert Soares Klier Junior (BRA) vs. Oleg Khotkov (UKR)

Followed By
Mukhtar Andu (GBR) vs. Benjamin Lock (ZIM) [6]