Action-packed day at the NTF International Junior Championships in Abuja on Thursday, with a host of youngsters looking to secure quarter-final spots.
Top seeds, Abayomi Philips and Marylove Edwards, both of whom received first-round byes, will begin their campaigns.
Philips, 17, and Uche Emeruwa open play on Court 5. Emeruwa was quite impressive in his first rounder here, as he fought back from a set down to beat Ghana’s Ivan Walaru. However, Philips will prove to be his biggest test. The top seed has been in superb form on the ITF Junior Circuit in recent months, making three finals in as many months. Having claimed the GTFLifetime Athletic Open title in Accra, in August, Philips will be looking to secure his second title of the year this week.
Marylove Edwards, who’s seeded No. 1 in the girls singles, will begin her quest for a first ITF title this year, when she takes on Joy Samuel. The 14-year-old, who received a wildcard, posted a semifinal showing in Lome, Togo in September, and will be looking to better that run this week in Abuja.
Samuel, meanwhile, is on the back of a three-set victory over Mariam Salami in the first round. Can she build on that and cause an upset?
Still in the girls singles, Rebecca Ekpenyong will square off against Austria’s Morenikeji Durowoju. Ekpenyong, last month, claimed her second straight Chevron Junior Masters Girls U-16 title- a national junior tournament- in Lagos. Can she translate that form onto the ITF Circuit this week and make progress?
In other matches, Omolade Aderemi and 4th seed, Oiza Yakubu will go head-to-head, while Serena Teluwo takes on Toyosi Adeusi.
2nd seed, Assil Boussayri of Morocco, who’s seeking for his first ITF title, will have Wilson Igbinovia to contend with. Igbinovia surrendered only 3 games in a quick 6-0, 6-3 dismissal of Habila Haggai in the first round. Can he keep up the intensity?
The 2nd seed in the girl’s field, Blanche Minet of Ivory Coast, looking to reach the quarter-finals on the ITF Circuit for only the second time this year, will face Nigeria’s Omolayo Bamidele.
Play begins from 10:00am at the National Tennis Centre, Abuja.
Thursday’s Full Order of Play