Joseph Imeh began his quest for back-to-back titles at the Dala Hard Court Championship, with a comfortable straight sets win over Joshua Daniel in Kano today.

Imeh, seeded 2nd, took out the qualifier 6-2, 6-3 to advance to the second round. Daniel had, earlier in the day, secured a main draw spot after beating Isaac Emeruwa 3-6, 6-4, 10-8 in the final qualifying round, but couldn’t match Imeh’s intensity in the first round.

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Joseph Imeh in action.

Imeh was joined in the second round by former champions, Lawal Shehu and Clifford Enosoregbe, both of whom registered straight-set victories in their respective encounters, and also Thomas Otu.

Shehu, who won his first Dala Hard Court title 16 years ago and is bidding for his 5th title this week, produced a solid performance to beat Chima Michael 6-4, 6-2.

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Lawal Shehu

Clifford Enosoregbe, champion in 2013 and 2014, outclassed qualifier, Michael Ambrose 6-2, 6-0 and will next face Uche Oparaoji, who defeated Joseph Iyorovbe on Monday.

2017 champion, Thomas Otu fought off a brave challenge from qualifier, John Dickson to claim a 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-2 victory.

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Thomas Otu

Elsewhere, teenage sensation, Musa Mohammed got off to a brilliant start in his opener, as he crushed Aliyu Idris 6-0, 6-0.

Mohammed, 17, is fresh off a stunning campaign at the recently-concluded NTF International Junior Championships in Abuja, where he reached the finals in the first and second legs, winning that of the second.

Nigeria’s Davis Cup team player, Emmanuel Idoko claimed a 6-4, 6-0 victory over qualifier, Charles Uwandu, who moved into the main draw after beating Anthony Leo 6-1, 5-0 (rtd). Christian Paul secured a 6-2, 2-1 (rtd) win over another qualifier, Emmanuel Leo, who had earlier defeated Michael Osewa 7-5, 6-1 to secure a main draw place.

In other matches, Oche Adehi toughed out a 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-5 victory over Albert Bikom, while Godsgift Timibra eased past Yahaya Musa 6-1, 6-0.

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Qualifier, Ajang Sylvanus rallied impressively from a set down to claim a 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-3 victory over 17th-ranked Henry John and move into the second round.

Sylvanus had gone through two qualifying matches on the same day, beating Ridwan Morakinyo 6-2, 6-2 in the 3rd round of qualifiers and Ayobami Odeyemi 6-0, 6-1 in the final round to book his place in the main draw.

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Ajang Sylvanus

Peter Lawal defeated Tochukwu Ezeh 6-4, 6-2, while Isaac Attah knocked out Hassan Jibrin 6-1, 6-4

Men’s singles – 1st round results

Godgift Timibra bt. Yahaya Musa 6-1, 6-0
Musa Mohammed bt. Aliyu Idris 6-0, 6-0
Oche Adehi bt. Albert Bikom 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-5
Lawal Shehu bt. Chima Michael 6-4, 6-2
Christian Paul bt. Emmanuel Leo 6-2, 2-1 rtd
Emmanuel Idoko bt. Charles Uwandu 6-4, 6-0
Joseph Imeh bt. Joshua Daniel 6-2, 6-3
Clifford Enosoregbe bt. Michael Ambrose 6-2, 6-0
Ajang Joel Sylvanus bt. Henry John 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-3
Isaac Attah bt. Hassan Jibrin 6-1, 6-4
Thomas Otu bt. John Dickson 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-2
Peter Lawal bt. Tochukwu Ezeh 6-4, 6-2

Results from the men’s singles qualifiers

3rd Round

Peter Lawal bt. Michael Emmanuel 6-1, 6-2
Ayobami Odeyemi bt. Michael Osewa 7-6(4), 6-1,
Ajang Joel Sylvanus bt. Ridwan Morakinyo 6-2, 6-2

4th Round

John Dickson bt. Mathew Abamu 6-2, 6-4
Emmanuel Leo bt. Michael Osewa 7-5, 6-1
Isaac Attah bt. Stephen Augustine 7-5, 7-6(6)
Michael Ambrose bt. Linus Paul 6-4, 6-4
Charles Uwandu bt. Anthony Leo 6-1, 5-0 rtd
Joshua Daniel bt. Isaac Emeruwa 3-6, 6-4, 10-8
Peter Lawal bt. Isiaka Toriola 6-0, 6-2
Ajang Joel Sylvanus bt. Ayobami Odeyemi 6-0, 6-1

Results from the day’s women’s singles qualifiers

2nd Round
Faith Sunday bt. Ngozi Dirisu 6-2, 6-2
Amala Nwokolo bt. Joy Sunday 6-1, 2-6, 10-6
Oluchi Ozurumba bt. Jesutoyosi Adeusi 6-3, 7-6(5)

3rd Round
Omolayo Bamidele bt. Favour Moses 7-6(5), 6-2
Christie Nwankwo bt. Omotayo Osewa 6-2, 7-5
Loveth Donatus bt. Faith Sunday 6-2, 6-2

Oluchi Ozurumba bt. Amala Nwokolo 7-5, 7-5

Unfinished singles match

Aanu Aiyegbusi vs Mary Udoffa