Nigeria’s tennis prodigy, Oyinlomo Quadre talks about the forthcoming CBN Senior Open and assesses her season so far.
Quadre, who’s currently at the High Performance Centre in Casablanca, Morocco honing her skills, is one of Nigeria’s brightest youngsters. The 16-year-old says she will be coming to Nigeria for holidays later this month, just around the time the CBN Senior Open will commence, and so, has set her sights on competing at the event.
“I am coming back home to play CBN and I’d also be home for holidays,” Quadre said. “I will only be home for about two weeks so I will play CBN for one week. I have requested for a wildcard. I will be home one week before CBN and right after [the tournament] I will leave.”
The youngster is no stranger to competing at the event. However, while her previous performance wasn’t laudable, she has set a bar for herself this time around, given her level of activity so far this season.
“Yes I have actually,” she said when asked if she had competed at the CBN Open before. “Once and I got a wildcard and lost first round to Melissa [Ifidzen].
“My expectations are really high … but right now I just want to take things step by step, and see what happens. I am feeling rather positive so I know that by the grace of God I should be reach my aim in this tournament.”
In April, Quadre broke into the top 200 in the World Junior Rankings to reach a career-high ranking of 176 and also become No.2 in Africa, following a remarkable title-run at the ITF Junior Tennis Club de Megrine – a Grade 3 tournament in Megrine, Tunisia. Before that, she finished third at the African Junior Closed Championships for 16 & Under in Hammamet, Tunisia.
Despite those impressive performances on the ITF Junior Circuit, the 16-year-old doesn’t claim she will have an edge over her competitors when the tournament begins.
“Well, I wouldn’t call it an edge, except if the players want it to be,” she said jokingly. “I would say me being active for the past few months will help me mentally in competing against other players in the competition.”
Being on Tour and away from home for half a year can be a long time. And for Quadre, knowing she will see her family again leaves her with so much excitement.
“I am very very excited to be coming back home. It’s been 6 months since I left home and there have been a lot of activities going on and seeing my family again after such a long time also adds to the excitement.”
Those six months, however, were great for the youngsters. Despite some sloppy results at the start of the season, Quadre eventually got into her strides, putting together strings of impressive performances to clinch a maiden Grade 3 title and reach a career-high ranking. And with the practice and effort she’s putting into her work, she can only get better now.
“I am most impressed with my results during my first time competing in ITF tournaments as a player of the ITF team. It was an impressive one. I could have done better no doubt but every single match I played I kept getting better and better.
“And that’s all that matters at the end of the day. I came back from the tour feeling positive and put in so much work into practice to achieve my goals at the end of the year.”