Top seed, Marylove Edwards came from behind to tough out a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(2) victory over Switzerland’s Jade Haller and move into the semifinals, while Abayomi Philips, the top seed in the boys singles, was beaten in straight sets by Gabriel Friday.
Haller had gotten off to the best of starts, breaking Edwards in the very first game before going on to open a 5-1 lead, and holding firm despite Edwards’ attempt at a comeback to take the set. But the top seed restored parity in the second set, breaking the Swiss twice to claim it and force a decider.
In the final set, the Nigerian blew an early 2-0 lead, leaving Haller to win the next 5 games and go 5-2 up. Edwards however dug deep to save 3 match points in the eight game and hold for 3-5 and then, rediscovered her mojo to stay in the tournament, as she broke for 4-5. She held for 5-all moments later before both girls guided the set to a tiebreak. Edwards would charge all the way through the tiebreaker to seal victory after 3 hours and 19 minutes on court.
There was no such drama between Iantsatiana Ratovondrahona of France and Ghana’s Naa McKorley, as the former eased to a straightforward 6-2, 6-3 victory over the Ghanaian to set up a semifinal showdown with Edwards.
In Friday’s other matches, Rebecca Ekpenyong produced a powerful performance to beat her compatriot, Oiza Yakubu 6-2, 6-1. Ekpenyong’s opponent in Saturday’s semis, will be 2nd seed, Blanche Minet of Ivory Coast, who beat Jesutoyosi Adeusi 6-4, 6-2.
In the boys singles, Gabriel Friday claimed a 7-6(4), 7-6(3) victory to knock out top seed, Abayomi Philips, and advance to the last four. After sealing the opening set, Friday opened a 5-1 lead in the second set, but Philips refused to bow out quietly. The sturdy teen broke twice, and won 5 of the next 6 games to force a tiebreaker. Friday, however, made his move in the tiebreak to eventually wear down the top seed and secure victory.
Up next for Friday is Musa Mohammed, who made light work of 5th seed Joshua Aji, winning 6-3, 6-1.
Elsewhere, Canice Abua, who hasn’t dropped a set so far, defeated 2nd seed, Assil Boussayri 6-4, 6-3 and will next face 3rd seed, Emmanuel Jebutu, who beat Sani Musa 7-6(2), 6-1.
Serena Teluwo and Oiza Yakubu made it through to the girls doubles final with a 0-0 (rtd) win over Omolade Aderemi and Rebecca Ekpenyong. The girls had taken to court, but Aderemi retired just before the start due to an ankle injury. Teluwo and Yakubu will now take on the Nigerian-Ivorian pair of Marylove Edwards and Blanche Minet, who beat Toyin Asogba and Jade Haller 6-1, 2-6, 10-7.
In the boys doubles, Emmanu Jebutu and Abayomi Philips outclassed Uche Emeruwa and Elisha Olowogbile 6-2, 6-1 to reach the final, where they will face the Nigerian-Moroccan pair of Michael Osewa and Assil Boussayri, who defeated Joshua Aji and Rubi Toba 7-5, 6-2.