Teenage stars, Oyinlomo Quadre, Abayomi Philips are among Nigerian players headlining main draw action at the Circuit ITF Des 18 Ans et Moins De l’Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre – an ITF Grade 4 tournament in Cotonou, Benin Republic, this week.
The event, which serves off Monday, 16 September at the Tennis Clud de l’Amitie, also has Emmanuel Jebutu, Michael Osewa, Joshua Aji and Wilson Igbinovia in boys’ singles action.
Quadre, who’s fresh off an impressive campaign at the African Games in Morocco, where she played part in winning two Bronze medals for Nigeria, is competing in her first ITF Junior event since her quarter-final-run in Tlemcen, Algeria in April. The 16-year-old, who claimed her maiden ITF Junior title at the ITF Junior Tennis Club de Megrine – a Grade 3 event – in Tunisia in April, will begin her quest for a second ITF Junior title this year, when she takes to court in the second round on Tuesday. She’s seeded No. 1 for this event and will open against either local favourite, Carmine Becoude or Grace Tomegah of Ghana.
Marylove Edwards, who was scheduled to feature this week, has announced her withdrawal. The 14-year-old reached her maiden semifinals on the ITF Junior Circuit last week in Lome, where she sustained a shoulder injury. She’ll be taking the time off to fully recover.
Good morning all. Thank you for the continued support. After my first ever ITF juniors semis in Lome, I was ready to go again in Benin but unfortunately will be taking the medical advice to rest my shoulder and withdraw. 🇳🇬❤
— Marylove Edwards (@marylovechamp) September 16, 2019
While Quadre is the only Nigerian in the girls’ singles draw, five Nigerians are in action in the boys’ field.
Philips, seeded No. 5, has been in fine form recently. The 17-year-old picked up his first ITF Junior title in Accra last month and made a superb run to the final in Lome two weeks ago. He’s on the back of a round of 16 showing in Lome and will look to do better this week. Having received a bye in the first round, the youngster awaits either local favourite, Junior Oudensi or Chieckne Traore of Mali in the second round.
Emmanuel Jebutu, a quarter-finalist in Lome last week, is in first round action on Monday, and takes on Richard Okine of Ghana. Both boys have faced each other twice already this month, with Jebutu winning both contests. The Nigerian will try to get off to a great start here by getting his third victory over the Ghanaian in as many weeks.
Joshua Aji, Michael Osewa and Wilson Igbinovia are also in first round action on Monday, with Aji taking on Adissa Noudogdessi of Benin, Osewa squaring off against India’s Yash Nagdev, and Igbinovia, playing in his first event on the ITF Junior Circuit this year, going head-to-head with Ishmael Dowuona of Ghana.