10-year-old Seun Ogunsakin advanced to the Boys Under-12 final at the SNEPCo Futures Tennis Championship in Lagos, following a 10-8, 16-14 victory over Lucky Danjuma on Friday, and will take on Mohammed Idris, who beat last year’s finalist Precious Ikeuba 10-3 10-3, for the title. Ogunsakin, who’s going for a third title in junior tourneys this year, defeated Idris to lift the Chevron Junior Open in March. Idris, however, evened scores a month later at the Play Your Age junior tournament in Abuja, beating Ogunsakin in the semifinals.
Who’ll get the better of the other on Saturday?
Three of the four semifinalists in the Boys Under 12s (Ogunsakin, Idris and Precious Ikeuba) were all teammates at the African Junior Championship Final qualifiers in Cotonou earlier this year.
In the Girls Under-12 category, top seed, Favour Amaechi, who was runner-up in last month’s CBN Junior Open, defeated Mary Benjamin 5-10, 16-14, 10-4 to reach the final, where she will lock horns with Faith Adeusi, who defeated Bright Emmanuel 10-6, 10-2, for the title. It will be a repeat of last year’s final, which Adeusi won. Adeusi had beaten Bright Emmanuel to reach the final.
However, rain delayed and caused all other scheduled semi-final match-ups on Friday to be suspended and rescheduled for Saturday, 1 June.
Isaac Danjuma will play Phillip Pyagbara in the Boys Under-14 semifinals, while Mubarak Ganiyu takes on Arwal Garba in the other semis for a place in the final. Should Mubarak make the final, it’ll be the 12-year-old’s second consecutive final in the 14 and Under category after stepping up to play in this age rank.
Mubarak has had quite a season so far, representing Nigeria in Togo twice, in January and March/April at the African Junior Championship and ITF/CAT African Junior Circuit for Under-14 in Lome, respectively. He reached the final of the CBN Boys 14 and Under event in May, but lost to David Ekpeyong. Can he now go all the way?
Over to the Girls 14 and Under category, defending champion, Esther Oni will take on top seed Imole Afolabi in a repeat of last year’s final, while Schola Otu faces Simisola Okajare in the other semis.
Daniel Adeleye, who clinched the Boys 14 and Under title last year, and is now competing in the 16 and Under category this year, will square off against Suleiman Ibrahim for a place in the final. It will be their second meeting in the space of a month, with both youngsters having faced off in the semifinals of the CBN Junior Open in May, where Ibrahim prevailed.
Elsewhere, last year’s beaten finalist in the Under-16, David Dawariye, who’s also the top seed here, will face Ali Abubakar for the other final ticket.
Dawariye had lost in the final last year to Wilson Igbinovia and will be aiming to go a step better this time, certainly.
Defending champion in the Girls Under 16s, Omolayo Bamidele will seek to remain a course for a title defense, when she takes on Toyosi Adeusi for a place in the final, while top seed, Omolade Aderemi faces Favour Moses in the other semis.
Moses’s last title came in last year’s CBN Junior Open, where she defeated Aderemi to win it. Will she get one over the top seed again?
Semi-final matches are live at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan from 7:00am on Saturday, 1 June, with the final matches coming later in the day at the same venue.