The wildcard playoffs for the GSL Open, which is the final tournament for the ITF World Tennis Tour in Abuja, got underway at the National Tennis Centre on Friday.
24 players registered for the playoffs, with 8 highest-ranked players getting a bye in the first round. The playoffs have gotten to the semifinal stage, and with two wildcards available via this playoff, the winners of the semi-final contests will automatically secure them and move into the main draw.
11 Nigerian players, which include Musa Mohammed, Sani Musa, Tochukwu Ezeh, Anthony Obekpa, Emmanuel Audu, Gabriel Friday, Ayuba Benjamin, Abubakar Saminu, John Dickson, Emmanuel Adehi and Lawal Ahmed were joined by Mukhtar Andu of Great Britain, Hugo Largo of Spain, India’s Kunal Anand, USA’s Dan Hiddleson and Jacob Gamble, Russia’s Alexey Dubinin, Dominik Palan of Czech Republic, Igor Banicevic of Montenegro, Oleg Khotkov of Ukraine, Boris Butulija of Serbia. Arvid Nordquist of Sweden, Arnaud Sewanou of Benin and Abdoulaziz Bationo of Ivory Coast.
It is however now down to four men. In the top half of the draw, India’s Kunal Anand will play Jacob Gamble of USA in the semifinal. Anand had beaten Alexey Dubinin 6-1 in the 2nd round and edged Mukhtar Andu in the quarterfinals by the same scoreline, while Gamble defeated Nigeria’s Gabriel Friday 6-1 in the second round, and edged Dominik Palan 6-4 in the quarter-finals.
In the second half the draw, Boris Butulija and Arvid Nordquist will contest the second semifinals. Butulija defeated Emmanuel Adehi and Oleg Khotkov in the second round and quarterfinals, respectively, while Sweden’s Nordquist beat Arnaud Sewanou and Hugo Largo for his progress.
The semi-final encounters are live from the National Tennis Centre, Abuja, from 10:00am on Saturday, 20 April.