Oyinlomo Quadre is one of Nigeria’s brightest youngsters. Aged 15, Quadre has been in Morocco for some time, developing her game at a high performance centre in Casablanca.
In December last year, she returned to Nigeria to compete at the National Sports Festival (NSF) in Abuja, and won the Gold medal in the women’s singles. In that event, Quadre dropped only two games en route to the final before beating Sarah Adegoke to clinch Gold for Delta State.
Since that triumph, she has sought to improve more on her game and has said she’s in fine fettle.
“I have been good,” Quadre said, when asked about well-being since her triumph at the NSF in Abuja. “I have been practicing good, trying to improve so many things in my game, faced some challenges already but right now I am good.”
This year, however, the youngster took to junior tournaments in Tunisia, but fell short in the first round of the events she competed in. Despite those disappointing losses, the 15-year-old picked positives from the outings, found encouragement from within, and is rearing to move forward.
“I have played two junior tournaments this year of which I lost in the 1st round,” she said. “But those tournaments have been of great help to me. They were Grade 2, which is a grade for hard tournaments and I was able to compete with them even though I lost.
“But it made me realize how much I have to work to achieve my goals because it’s not going to come easy. I said to myself: ‘If your goal is to win a Grand Slam and you lost in the 1st round of two Grade 2s then, you still have a long way to go’ and that has kept me on my toes so far.”
The past two months, though, haven’t been quite a smooth sail for Quadre. While there was a self-induced psychological pressure to perform, she also had to battle with a back pain.
“I faced some challenges physically and mentally during January and February,” Quadre revealed. “Physically my back pain came back and I had to reduce and prevent future injuries. I also had so much pressure that I put on myself because of the goals I have this year and it ended up affecting me in the Grade 2 in Tunisia, which is two weeks of tournaments and I lost in the first round.
“So generally, I have been trying to get back on my feet to be well prepared for my next tournament,” the 15-year-old, whose next tournament will be a Grade B2 event in Morocco in the second week of March, said.
She is currently ranked 326th in the ITF World Junior Rankings. Her aim by the end of the year is to be ranked well inside the top 150.
“By the end of 2019, I want to move up 200 places at least,” she said.
Quadre, whose scholarship at the high performance centre is renewed every year, and is still eligible to be there until 2021, says the centre has helped her improve immensely, lauding all those those who have contributed to her development there.
“The Centre has helped me in so many ways. The coaches, teachers, and staff have all been really helpful whenever I need anything and in general they’ve helped me built my competitiveness in all aspects of life.”
She hopes to visit Nigeria in July or August, but before then, she will be representing the country at the African Junior Championship for 16 & Under next month in Tunisia.