Sylvester Emmanuel and Joseph Imeh retired midway through their respective first round encounters due to injury on a day that saw other Nigerians in the men’s singles draw fall short.
Emmanuel, who was a quarter-finalist in 2016, took to court against last week’s champion, Calvin Hemery. Little separated both men in the first set, as they went toe-to-toe in an intense opener before Hemery found the edge in the tiebreaker to clinch the set. But the Nigerian called it quits due to injury in the second set while trailing 3-0.
For Hemery, his 7-6(4), 3-0 win sets up a second round meeting with Zimbabwe’s John Lock, who defeated Darryl Hale 6-3, 6-3.
Emmanuel’s retirement followed that of Joseph Imeh, who was unable to continue against Skander Mansouri. Imeh trailed the top-seeded Tunisian 3-0 in the opening set before succumbing to injury- for the second time in as many weeks. A knee injury saw him retire midway through the first set in his second round match against Takanyi Garanganga last week.
Mansouri will now go on to face Gianni Mina, who rallied from a set down to beat Kenyan qualifier, Kibet Yego, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 in 2 hours. For Mina and Mansouri, it will be a repeat of their first round match last week, which the latter won in straight sets.
Elsewhere, Emmanuel Idoko was beaten 7-6(0), 6-0 by last week’s finalist, Aldin Setkic, while Michael Osewa lost 6-3, 6-1 to Tristan Meraut of France. On Centre Court, Takanyi Garanganga sped past Paul Emmanuel 6-3, 6-1 in just under an hour, while Thomas Setdoji defeated Abayomi Philips 6-2, 6-4.
India’s Dhruv Sunish beat Wilson Igbinovia 6-1, 7-5. Igbinovia, after losing the first set, put up a strong challenge in the second and led 5-2. But Sunish would stage a comeback, winning the next five games to claim victory and advance to second round, where he will play No. 2 seed, Benjamin Lock.
Lock fended off a fierce challenge from Aryan Goveas, who powered down 18 aces in the 2 hour, 47 minute encounter, to win 7-6, 3-6, 7-5. Lock, who had suffered a shock first round exit last week, escaped another, as he fought back from 2-5 down in the final set to win 5 games on the trot and claim an epic win.