Rising star, Abayomi Philips moved into the semifinals of the GTFLifetime Athletic Open – an ITF Grade 5 hard-court tournament, in Accra, Ghana, following a 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 victory over top seed, Ouattara Nafiralo of Ivory Coast.
Philips, who hadn’t lost a set en route to the quarter-finals, started brilliantly against the Ivorian and breezed to a quick first set win, but Nafiralo responded in kind to hand the Nigerian his first set loss of the tournament, forcing a third set. Philips, however, found his rhythm in the deciding set and raised his level to close out the set and claim victory.
Up next for the 17-year-old Nigerian is Kofi Goudjinou of Togo, who beat Samuel Nyamekye of Ghana 6-2, 6-4.
Elsewhere, Marylove Edwards and Oiza Yakubu fell in straight sets to their respective opponents in the girls singles quarter-finals. Edwards was beaten 6-2, 6-4 by 4th seed, Lea Bathellier of France, while Yakubu went down to 2nd-seeded Togolese, Vania Dotse 6-2, 6-4, also.
However, in the doubles event, Marylove Edwards and her partner, Shania Gadhia of Kenya produced an epic come-from-behind performance to beat the Togolese-French duo of Ishane Derman and Lea Bathellier 4-6, 7-6(4), 10-7 and reach the semifinals.
Edwards and Gadhia will next take on the Cameroonian duo of Linda Nga and Manuelle Nga for a place in the girls doubles final.
Elsewhere in the boys doubles, the pair of Joshua Aji and Ghana’s Augustus Tetteh were beaten 6-0, 6-1 by top seeds, Vence N’tcha and Paul Ngouadjio.