Nigeria’s wheelchair tennis maestro, Alex Adewale impressed in the recently concluded ITF Futures Series in Nairobi, Kenya. The outdoor clay-court wheelchair event which held from 11 – 13 February in Kenya, saw players from all over Africa compete for $3,000 in prize money and vital ranking points.
In the singles event, Adewale, seeded second, sublimely breezed through his section of the draw to the final without dropping a set. The 29-year-old defeated Emmanuel Temba of Tanzania 6-1, 6-2, steamrolled Ghana’s Samadu Sofo 6-1, 6-1, before beating his 40-year-old countryman Wasiu Yusuf 6-1, 6-3 for the third consecutive time to reach the final.
Adewale, who had won three singles titles on the trot in ITF events, would come up short in the final against South African top seed, Evans Maripa, losing to the 28-year-old 1-6, 2-6. The Nigerian, however, emerged victorious in the doubles event, as he partnered with Wasiu Yusuf to claim the title.
The enigmatic duo defeated their compatriots Alabi Samuel and Mende Wilson 6-0, 6-1 in the quarterfinals, before blowing away the Kenyan pair of Matano Shaaban and Odiyo Henry 6-1, 6-0 in the semifinals. They secured the title after the pair of Evans Maripa and Temba Emmanuel retired with the Nigerians leading 6-2, 4-2.
In the women’s event, Omisore Kafayat also impressed. The 34-year-old, who was seeded 4th, received a bye in the first round and kick-started her campaign in the quarterfinals with a flawless display, beating Kenya’s Elizabeth Njoki 6-0, 6-0. She however couldn’t get past the semis as she was beaten 6-2, 6-0 by South Africa’s Mariska Venter.
Prior to her semifinal victory over Kafayat, Venter, seeded 2nd, had beaten Nigeria’s Grace Nwazuzu.
In the doubles, Kafayat and Nwazuzu got to the semifinals after receiving a bye in the quarterfinals, but were beaten 6-2, 6-1 by top seeds, Emmanuelle Morch of France and Mariska Venter.