We are excitedly heading into a new tennis season, but before then, we’ve taken a look back at the 2019 season. Have a read below for five fun facts about the season, which are truly interesting.

All ITF World Tennis Tour men’s singles tournaments were won by Frenchmen

Screenshot 20191021 1545032
Calvin Hemery

From the M25+H Abuja to the Lagos Open, the men’s singles titles were all claimed by French players. At the Abuja events in April, Sadio Doumbia clinched the Tombim Open, beating his countryman Jaimee Angele in the final. At the Dayak Tennis Championship, the following week, Tom Jomby defeated Ukraine’s Danylo Kalenichenko to secure the title, while at the GSL Open—which was the 3rd leg—another Frenchman, Dan Added claimed the title, his first ITF World Tour title, with victory over Tom Jomby.

In October, Calvin Hemery completed the clean sweep for the French in Nigeria, with the 24-year-old claiming both the 1st and 2nd leg titles.

Nigeria excelled in beach tennis at first attempt

IMG 20190617 WA0015
L-R: Christie Agugbom, coach Abdulmumin Babalola, and Blessing Samuel pose with their medals.

Nigeria took part in the first-ever Africa Beach Games, which held in Cape Verde in June. It was the first time the country participated in beach tennis as a sport, and they performed impressively. The team, led by Christie Agugbom and Blessing Samuel, and coached by Abdulmumin Babalola, secured Silver in the women’s doubles category. A straight-sets win over Algeria gave them their second victory in three doubles contests.

Oyinlomo Quadre dominated home and abroad

IMG 20190421 WA00054
Oyinlomo Quadre is flanked by two officials as she strikes a pose with the ITF Junior Tennis Club de Megrine trophy.

Nigerian teenager, Oyinlomo Quadre dominated almost every tournament she competed in home and abroad in the 2019 season. The talented youngster won three titles on the ITF Junior Circuit; the first victory coming in Megrine, Tunisia in April, before title-triumphs at J4 Cotonou in Lome and the J5 Abuja, Nigeria, in September and November, respectively.

20191123 1924572
Oyinlomo Quadre, the Dala women’s singles champion

Quadre also won (both the singles and doubles) all national tournaments—CBN Open, Dala Hard Court Championship, Rainoil Open and Vemp Open—without losing a set in any of the categories.

Nigeria hosted an ITF Junior tournament for the first time in almost two decades

DSC 0713
L-R: Emmanuel Jebutu, Musa Mohammed, Assil Boussayri, Michael Osewa, Canice Abua, Blanche Minet, Marylove Edwards, Serena Teluwo, Oiza Yakubu, and Abayomi Philips- all winners and runners-up for the first week- in a group photo.

A two-week ITF Junior tournament held in Abuja, Nigeria in November, and it was the first ITF junior tournament hosted in Nigeria since 2003. Quite a number of Nigerian junior players competed in the Grade 5 hard-court event and following its conclusion, 22 of them became ranked on the ITF World Junior Rankings.

From Dan Added to Marylove Edwards, some players secured their first career titles playing in Nigeria

Dan Added of France claimed his maiden ITF title at the GSL Open in Abuja in April, and that served as a launch pad for the Frenchman. He would go on to win the M15 Lambermomt in Belgium in August and the M25+H Mulhouse in his home country in September.

DSC 0454 2
20-year-old Dan Added in a post-match interview with Ikani Agabi (L), following his triumph in the GSL Open final.

In October, Sada Nahimana of Burundi claimed her first ITF title, with victory in the first leg of the Lagos Open. The 18-year-old became the first African since Chanelle Scheepers in 2007 to win the women’s singles title.

IMG 20191014 WA0077
Sada Nahimana kisses her trophy

In November, Nigeria’s Marylove Edwards, Canice Abua and Musa Mohammed claimed the first ITF Junior titles of their respective careers at the NTF International Junior Championships in Abuja.

20191117 161056
Musa Mohammed

14-year-old Marylove Edwards secured her first ITF Junior title, following a three-set win over Ivory Coast’s Blanche Minet in the first leg of the Grade 5 event. She reached the final of the second leg but fell short to Oyinlomo Quadre.

DSC 0703
Marylove Edwards receiving the girls singles trophy from the President of the NTF, Engr. Dayo Akindoju.

Canice Abua, aged 14 at the time, powered through the boys singles draw before beating his compatriot, Musa Mohammed in the final of the first leg for his maiden title.

DSC 0711
Canice Abua receiving the boys singles trophy from the NTF President.

Musa Mohammed would prevail in the second leg, beating Abayomi Philips to also secure his maiden title. The future looks bright for them.