Nigeria’s No. 1, Sylvester Emmanuel claimed a 2-6, 6-4 (rtd) victory over Joseph Imeh to defend his Vemp Open men’s singles title in Abuja today.
The 21-year-old had bounced back from an opening set loss to take the second set before Imeh retired due to a groin injury.
Both men began their final contest – a repeat of last year’s – by trading breaks early in the opening set. Imeh would secure the first hold of the match in the 5th game for 3-2 and then break Emmanuel in the next game to go 4-2 up. The defending champion lost his edge on serve again, as Imeh carved out his fourth break in the 8th game to take the set.
In the second set, Imeh opened a 3-1 lead after forcing a break in the fourth game. But Emmanuel fought back, breaking back immediately and consolidating with a hold to draw level at 3-3. The top seed would raise his level some more to break in the ninth game for 5-4 before holding serve in the next to close out the set.
However, Imeh, who was looking to claim his second national title this year, could not continue due to injury. Victory hands Emmanuel his 3rd national title of the year—following triumphs at the CBN Open and Rainoil Open—and N324,000 in prize-money