Nigeria’s Abayomi Philips produced a spirited display to come from behind and beat Vence N’tcha of Benin in three sets and claim the GTFLifetime Athletic Open title in Accra, Ghana on Saturday.
In only his first ITF Junior tournament this year, Philips would cap off a remarkable week of tennis, beating the third-seeded Beninese 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to win the ITF Grade 5 title- the biggest of his fledgling career yet.
The 17-year-old Philips got off to a fine start, breaking N’tcha in the first game of the opening set, but the Beninese broke back almost immediately to draw level. He would take the next three games to open up a 4-1 lead. And despite Philips’ best attempts to steady the ship, N’tcha held firm to take the set.
The Nigerian however raised his level in the second set, racing to a 3-1 lead and doing just enough to stave off N’tcha’s determined challenge and close out the set, forcing a decider.
He would keep up the intensity in the deciding set, and that saw him earn an early break for 3-1. There was no looking back, as Philips maintained his composure to close out the match and emerge victorious in the Ghanaian capital.