Five Nigerian female players, including the country’s No. 1 Blessing Samuel, and Sarah Adegoke, booked their place in the main draw of the Lagos Open in Onikan on Monday.
The women’s field completed its qualifiers on the day, with some of the players going through the two rounds of qualifying matches to make it through to the main draw.
Blessing Samuel had no problems clinching her spot, as she beat youngster, Jumai Mohammed, 6-3, 6-1 in the first round, before powering past Peace Udoh 6-1, 6-1 in the second round.
Samuel was joined by Sarah Adegoke, Nigeria’s former No. 1, who earlier dismissed her countrywoman, Sabath Ibrahim for the loss of just two games, as she registered a 6-1, 6-1 win before beating Serena Teluwo 6-2, 6-4 to make it through.
But it wasn’t as easy for Aanu Aiyegbusi, who had to tough out two three-sets victories on the day to scale through. The 26-year-old Nigerian bounced back from a slow start against Ronke Akingbade in the first round to secure a 1-6, 6-0, 10-5 victory before going on to beat South Africa’s Marne Dercksen 6-2, 3-6, 10-7 and make it to the main draw of this event for the third time in her career.
Omolade Aderemi, making her debut on the ITF Pro Circuit, didn’t have to swing a racket to qualify. The 17-year-old got a bye in the first round and earned a walkover in the second over Frenchwoman, Carla Touly. Also, Patience Onebamhoin secured a place in the main draw with an easy 6-0, 6-1 victory over Rachael Adunoye.
Meanwhile, Osariemen Airhunwhunde, who defeated Abiodun Oyegoke 1-6, 6-3, 11-9 in the first round, fell short in straight sets to Peddi Reddy of India. Blessing Anuna, who got a first round bye, retired midway through her second round match against Isabella Kruger of South Africa.
In the men’s field, qualifying action will continue on Tuesday, with Nigerians, Sylvester Emmanuel, Emmanuel Oche, Emmanuel Jebutu, Matthew Abamu, Christian Paul and Mohammed Mohammed already into the final round.
Sylvester Emmanuel, who was a quarter-finalist in 2016, eased past his compatriot, Godsgift Timibra 6-3, 6-1 and will next play Emmanuel Jebutu, who beat Bhanu Suthar 6-1, 6-0.
Oche defeated Thomas Otu 5-7, 6-2, 14-12 and will take on Arnaud Sewanou of Benin for a place in the main draw. Elsewhere, Matthew Abamu, who handed Jamiu Suliamon a double bagel in the first round, will play Russia’s Alexey Dubinin in the final round, while Christian Paul meets Kevin Cheruiyot of Kenya. Mohammed Mohammed will face Tushar Madan of India.