The women’s singles defending champion, Blessing Samuel, began her chase for back-to-back Rainoil Open titles with a comfortable victory over Osariemen Airhunwhunde.

Samuel, who’s seeded No. 3, proved too good for Airhunwhunde as she went on to register a 6-3, 6-1 win and stretch her head-to-head lead over Airhunwhunde at the Rainoil Open to 3-0.

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Blessing Samuel in action.

Up next for the 3rd seed is a second round meeting with talented youngster, Marylove Edwards, who defeated qualifier, Nene Yakubu 7-5, 6-1.

Nene Yakubu, aged only 11, had come through two rounds of qualifying to make the main draw, but just couldn’t contain the 14-year-old Edwards.

After both players exchanged breaks early in the first set, Edwards broke for the fourth time in the set to open a 5-2 lead. Yakubu, however, fought back to level matters at 5-5 by forcing a break in the 10th game.

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Nene Yakubu in action.

But Edwards immediately broke back before serving out for the set a game later.

The 11-year-old was unable to do much in the second set, with Edwards simply too good in general play, as she went on to win 6 of the next 7 games to close out the set.

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Marylove Edwards in action.

Elsewhere, last year’s finalist, Christie Agugbom put up a strong display to beat Serena Teluwo 6-0, 6-0 for a place in the second round. Agugbom, who’s seeded 4th, will next face Oiza Yakubu, who beat Olamide Aluko 6-3, 6-2. Agugbom and Yakubu’s second round meeting will be a repeat of the pair’s quarter-final contest last year, which Agugbom won in straights.

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37-year-old Christie Agugbom in action.

On Court 3, Loveth Donatus took out Bunmi Are 6-2, 6-3, while Ibironke Oladipo outclassed Temitope Fashanu 6-1, 6-2.

In the women’s doubles, defending champions, Christie Agugbom and Blessing Samuel thrashed Ngozi Dirisu and Amala Nwokolo 6-0, 6-0 to reach the quarter-finals, while Blessing Anuna and Ibironke Oladipo combined well to rally from a set down and defeat Omolade Aderemi and Akosile Afolarin 4-6, 6-1, 10-6.

Women’s singles – 1st round

Blessing Samuel bt. Osariemen Airhunwunde 6-3, 6-1
Christie Agugbom bt. Serena Teluwo 6-0, 6-0
Oiza Yakubu bt. Olamide Aluko 6-3, 6-2
Ibironke Oladipo bt. Temitope Fashanu 6-1, 6-2
Marylove Edwards bt. Nene Yakubu 7-5, 6-1
Loveth Donatus bt. Bunmi Are 6-2, 6-3
Stella Udokwelu bt. Akosile Afolarin 4-1 rtd

Women’s doubles – 1st round

Blessing Anuna/Ibironke Oladipo bt. Omolade Aderemi/Akosile Afolarin 4-6, 6-1, 10-6
Christie Agugbom/Blessing Samuel bt. Ngozi Dirisu/Amala Nwokolo 6-0, 6-0
Osariemen Airhunwunde/Aanu Aiyegbusi bt. Loveth Donatus/Stella Udokwelu 4-6, 6-1, 11-9
Patience Onebamhoin/Oluchi Ozurumba bt. Serena Teluwo/Jummai Muhammed 6-1, 6-1