Nigeria’s Joseph Imeh and Emmanuel Idoko produced strong performances to advance to the second round of the Lagos Open.
Imeh had his countryman, Mohammed Mohammed to contend with, and he stayed focused from the outset. Two breaks in the first set and a near-perfect display in the second saw the 21-year-old claim a comprehensive 6-3, 6-0 victory and set up a second round meeting with Zimbabwe’s Takanyi Garanganga, who beat Russian qualifier, Alexey Dubinin 6-1, 7-6.
Elsewhere, wildcard, Emmanuel Idoko beat Kenya’s Kibet Yego 7-5, 6-1 in almost two hours of relentless hitting. Both men traded breaks in the first set until the 10th game where Idoko found the all-important break to go 6-5 up before serving out the set. Idoko would raise his level in the second set, breaking in the very first game and was never really troubled in seeing out the remainder of the match.
Up next for Idoko is top seed, Skander Mansouri, who defeated Frenchman, Gianni Mina 7-6(4), 6-3. But it was Mina, a 7-time ITF Tour champion, who was impressive early on, as he created chances and took them for an early 4-1 lead. Mansouri, bidding for his 5th ITF Tour title of the season, would steady himself, winning 5 of the next 7 games, as he slowly worked his way through the gears to turn the table and take the set to a tiebreaker, which he claimed. In the second set, a break in the 6th game saw the Tunisian take a 4-2 lead. Shortly after, he wrapped up the match.
Meanwhile, it wasn’t the best day for Sylvester Emmanuel, Abayomi Philips, Paul Emmanuel and 3rd seed, Benjamin Lock of Zimbabwe, all of whom were knocked out in straights.
Emmanuel was beaten 6-1, 6-2 by 5th seed, Calvin Hemery of France, while Abayomi Philips fell 6-4, 6-2 to India’s Jatin Dahiya. Kenyan qualifier, Kevin Cheruiyot edged Paul Emmanuel 6-2, 6-4. The tournament’s 3rd seed, Benjamin Lock suffered an early exit as he was beaten 6-2, 6-3 by his talented countryman, Mehluli Sibanda. Benjamin’s brother, Courtney was also knocked out, 7-5, 6-0, by India’s Aryan Goveas.
2015 champion, Aldin Setkic marked his return to the Lagos Open after 4 years, with a straightforward 6-3, 6-1 victory over Tristan Meraut of France. The 31-year-old Bosnian is bidding for his 28th title on the ITF World Tennis Tour.