Day 4 of the Lagos Open promises to be cracking, as players have their sights set on the quarter-finals of the singles event.
Four Nigerians are in action, with Joseph Imeh and Emmanuel Idoko in the men’s field, and Oyinlomo Quadre and Blessing Samuel in the women’s, all headlining Thursday’s lineup.
Joseph Imeh faces a tricky test against Zimbabwe’s Takanyi Garanganga, who’s the tournament’s 7th seed. It will be the 5th meeting between both men on the ITF World Tour, and Imeh will attempt to beat the Zimbabwean for the first time and make progress. Garanganga, ranked 540th in the world, claimed a straight-sets win in the previous round and so did Imeh. Who will stay on track here?
Idoko takes on top seed, Skander Mansouri of Tunisia. Mansouri began his quest for a 5th title this year with straight sets win over Gianni Mina in the first round and will look to keep going. Idoko, meanwhile, made the round of 16 for the first time in this event, following a quite impressive straight sets victory over Kenya’s Ibrahim Yego on Wednesday. Can he build on that momentum and remain on course?
In the women’s field, teenage star, Oyinlomo Quadre goes head-to-head with India’s Riya Bhatia. Bhatia, who’s ranked 499 in the world, did not concede a game against Oiza Yakubu in the previous round. However, Quadre has been playing superbly in recent months and will present a strong challenge for the 5th seed. The youngster, who dropped only two games in a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Patience Onebamhoin in the opening round, reached the round of 16 here last year and will look to go one better this time.
Blessing Samuel will confront 9-time ITF Tour winner, Sandra Samir of Egypt. Samir came into Lagos in fine form, having made the final in each of her last four tournaments. Following her straight sets victory over Peddi Reddy of India in the first round, the Egyptian certainly fancies another deep run. Meanwhile, Samuel is looking to make the quarter-finals here in Lagos for the first time. Can she upset the odds and march on?
Also in action on the day is Isabella Kruger who knocked out top seed, Valeriya Strakhova in three sets in the first round. The 14-year-old South African, who began competing on the ITF World Tour in April this year, will look to maintain the momentum and reach her maiden quarter-finals, when she takes on 20-year-old Dutchwoman, Lexie Stevens.
In the doubles event, the Nigerian pair of Blessing Anuna and Ronke Akingbade will square off against the Russian-Swede duo of Nika Kukharchuk and Fanny Ostlund for a place in the women’s doubles semifinals.
Action is live on Thursday from 9:30am at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan.