Abayomi Philips, Emmanuel Jebutu and Oiza Yakubu got off to great starts at the ITF/CAT Circuit Junior De L’Afrique De L’Ouest in Lome, Togo on Monday.
Philips and Jebutu received first-round byes and had no problems dismissing their respective opponents in the second round to advance to the third round of the Grade 5 event in the West African city, while Yakubu eased into the second round in the girls’ field.
Philips, who posted a title-run at the GTFLifetime Open in Accra last week, brought that form into Lome, as he kept up the momentum to secure a straightforward 6-3, 6-4 victory over Boris Kouadio of Ivory Coast. The 9th seed will seek to claim his seventh straight win on the Circuit, when he takes on 8th seed, Johnson Acquah of Ghana for a place in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Jebutu made progress following a 6-4, 5-1 (rtd) win over 13th-seeded Ghanaian, Richard Okine. Jebutu was already cruising and was one game away from closing out the match before Okine retired due to injury.
Up next for Jebutu is either Aristide Setome of Benin or 4th seed, Wamba Ngouadjio of Cameroon.
In the girls’ field, Oiza Yakubu brushed aside Aida Garba of Benin for a fine 6-1, 6-2 win to advance to the second round, where she will take on local favourite, Vania Dotse, who’s seeded No.3.
Daniel Aji, the other Nigerian in the draw, opens his account on Tuesday against India’s Jaishvin Sidana.