Main draw action serves off on Tuesday at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, with Blessing Samuel and Oyinlomo Quadre among the Nigerians leading the home charge in the women’s field.
In the men’s field, qualifying round action will be completed.
Quadre, who received a wildcard, takes on her countrywoman, Patience Onebamhoin in the opening round. Onebamhoin, 31, will be making her 4th appearance in the main draw of this event after working her way past the qualifiers, and will seek to move past the first round here for the first time. Quadre is the highest-ranked Nigerian junior player in the world. The 16-year-old, who made the round of 16 here last year, has had a good season on the ITF Junior Circuit with two title-triumphs. Can she translate her success onto the ITF World Tour?
Nigeria’s No. 1, Blessing Samuel and Aanu Aiyegbusi will go head-to-head for a place in the round of 16. Both women made it through two rounds of qualifying and will be looking to keep up the momentum. Samuel, though, has made it to the round of 16 here on three different occasions. It’ll be a first-time meeting between both women on the ITF World Tennis Tour. Who will prevail?
Youngsters, Oiza Yakubu, who received a wildcard, and Omolade Aderemi are also in first round action on the day. Yakubu, who’s making her debut, will have her work cut out for her, as she takes on 2-time ITF World Tour winner, Riya Bhatia of India, the tournament’s 5th seed, while Aderemi faces another 2-time ITF Tour winner, Nika Kukharchuk of Russia. Aderemi secured a place in the main draw via the qualifiers, where she didn’t even play a match. A first round bye and a walkover in the second round of the qualifiers saw the 17-year-old secure her main draw spot.
The tournament’s top seed, Valeriya Strakhova, who’s ranked 231 in the world, will also be in action on Tuesday. The Ukrainian will square off against South African qualifier, Isabella Kruger with a place in the second round on the line.
In the men’s field, second round of qualifying action will continue with Nigerians in the fray. Sylvester Emmanuel and his countryman, Emmanuel Jebutu go head-to-head, Emmanuel Oche faces Arnaud Sewanou, Matthew Abamu against Alexey Dubinin, Mohammed Mohammed squares off against Tushar Madan of India and Christian Paul battles Kenya’s Kevin Cheruiyot.
Nigerians will also be in doubles action in both the men and women’s field.
The duo of Sylvester Emmanuel and Takanyi Garanganga of Zimbabwe will take on the pair of Emmanuel Oche and Christian Paul for a place in the men’s doubles quarterfinals, while Emmanuel Idoko and Mohammed Mohammed battle the Frenchmen, Calvin Hemery and Tristan Meraut.
In the women’s doubles, Ronke Akingbade and Blessing Anuna face Amarachi Odoh and Serena Teluwo, while Amara Nwokolo and Peace Udoh square off against the Russian-Swede pair of Nika Kukharchuk and Fanny Ostlund. Sarah Adegoke teamed up with DRC’s Allyson Onya and will lock horns with the Tunisian-German pair of Chiraz Bechiri and Jasmin Jebawy.