Defending champions, Joseph Imeh and Blessing Samuel will begin their bids for back-to-back Rainoil Open titles on Tuesday in the men’s and women’s fields, respectively.

Top seed, Sylvester Emmanuel will also feature in a packed schedule.

Joseph Imeh, seeded No. 2, will meet Lawrence Pius as he begins his title defence. The 22-year-old comes into this week’s event with plenty of momentum and in very good form, having claimed the Dala Hard Court Championship title two weeks ago in Kano.

The women’s singles defending champion, Blessing Samuel, takes on Osariemen Airhunwhunde in her opening match. Both women have met twice here — in the first round in 2017 and the second round last year – with Samuel prevailing in both encounters. While she came through a tough 7-5, 2-6, 7-5 win in 2017, she claimed a comfortable 6-2, 6-0 win last year. Can she make it 3 wins out of 3 against Airhunwhunde in this event for a fine start?

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Blessing Samuel has made it to the women’s singles final in the previous two editions, winning that of 2018.

On Court 3, top seed and last year’s semi-finalist, Sylvester Emmanuel goes head-to-head with 38th-ranked Linus Paul. Emmanuel, who’s on the back of a runner-up finish at the Dala Championship in Kano, will be looking to go one better here, this week.

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Sylvester Emmanuel claimed the CBN Open title in June and will hope to clinch his second national title of the 2019 season at the Rainoil Open this week.

Other notable matches on Monday include last year’s runner-up, Christie Agugbom’s meeting with talented youngster, Serena Teluwo, 4th seed, Thomas Otu against young qualifier, Gabriel Friday, and the encounter between 5th seed, Musa Mohammed, and Ebuka Ezewoke on Court 6.

Tuesday’s Order of Play

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