The 2019 Rainoil Open will come to a fitting close on Sunday, with the top two seeds in the men’s draw, Sylvester Emmanuel and Joseph Imeh, the defending champion, going head-to-head for the men’s singles title, and teenage sensation, Oyinlomo Quadre taking on veteran, Christie Agugbom.
Having come through to the final without conceding a set, Emmanuel, seeded No. 1, and No. 2 seed Joseph Imeh will face off for the title, just over two weeks after both men squared off in the final of the Dala Hard Court Championship in Kano – the pair’s only meeting this year.
Imeh prevailed in the Dala Championship match in straight sets and will look to come out on top again for back-to-back Rainoil Open titles. This week, the 22-year-old accounted for Lawrence Pius 6-1, 6-0, Emmanuel Ikakah 6-0, 6-2, Christian Paul 7-6(3), 5-1 (rtd), Godgift Timibra 6-2, 6-4 and on Thursday, comfortably took out Emmanuel Idoko 6-0, 6-3 to reach his third straight Rainoil Open.
Meanwhile, it was nothing dissimilar for Sylvester Emmanuel in the top half of the draw, with the top seed dismissing Linus Paul 6-1, 6-0, Matthew Abamu 6-0 (rtd), Emmanuel Paul 6-3, 6-2, Peter Lawal 6-2, 6-0, and registering a 6-0, 2-0 (rtd) win over Chima Michael in the semis on Saturday.
Both men are in marvellous form. But will Imeh prove too good again? Or will Emmanuel exact revenge and add the Rainoil Open title to the CBN Open title he won in June.
Victory for Oyinlomo Quadre in the women’s singles final will see her clinch her third consecutive national title; for Agugbom, it will be a first Rainoil Open title after she came very close to winning it last year (lost to Blessing Samuel). However, Quadre will fancy her chances here. The 16-year-old has, unsurprisingly, eased through to the final, dropping just four games in as many matches.
Meanwhile, Agugbom, 37, lost a set – the only one for her this week – to Omolayo Bamidele in the quarter-finals before besting Aanu Aiyegbusi 6-3, 6-4 in Saturday’s semifinals.
Sunday’s final will be the second meeting between the pair this year – a repeat of the CBN Open final, which Quadre won 6-1, 6-0. Can the youngster produce a similar performance and emerge winner? Or will Agugbom go one better?
The women’s singles final is live from 3:00pm on Sunday, 8 Dec., at the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja, followed by the men’s final.