Nigerian youngsters, Emmanuel Jebutu, Michael Osewa and Wilson Igbinovia, all of whom were in first round action at the ITF Grade 4 tournament in Cotonou on Monday, got off to bright starts in their respective bids for a first ITF Junior title.
Jebutu accounted for Richard Okine 6-4, 6-4 to register his third straight win over the Ghanaian this month and advance to the second round, where he will take on home hope, Vence N’tcha, the 7th seed.
Osewa, also, produced a rock solid performance to beat Yash Nagdev of India 6-4, 6-4 and book a second round date with No. 3 seed, Kodjo Charles of Togo.
Elsewhere, 16-year-old Wilson Igbinovia marked his return to action on the ITF Junior Circuit, with a comfortable 6-1, 6-2 victory over Ishmael Dowuona of Ghana. Igbinovia, who went out in the second round last year, will look to go a step better, when he meets Arnaud Sewanou of Benin.
Joshua Aji, meanwhile, couldn’t make progress, as he was stopped in straight sets by Adissa Noudogdessi of Benin- the local favourite claiming a 6-3, 6-3 win.
In the boys doubles category, however, Joshua Aji combined effectively with Ghana’s Bright Nortey to beat the Nigerian duo of Wilson Igbinovia and Michael Osewa.
Aji and Nortey had lost the first set, but did well to recover from the slow start and work their way to a 1-6, 6-3, 10-6 victory and reach the second round, where they face top seeds, Arnaud Sewanou and Sylvester Monnou of Benin.
Emmanuel Jebutu also teamed up with a Ghanaian, Richmond Armaah to fight off an fierce challenge from Desmond Ayaaba and Aristide Setome and claim a 7-6, 5-7, 10-8 victory.
Action continues on Tuesday, with Abayomi Philips taking on Chieckne Traore for a place in the third round. In the girls’ singles field, Oyinlomo Quadre, seeded No. 1, will play Carmine Becoude for a quarter-final place.