Nigeria’s Oyinlomo Quadre is into her first final on the ITF Junior Circuit this year at the ITF Junior Tennis Club de Megrine—a Grade 3 hard-court event in Megrine, Tunisia.
Quadre has been in brilliant form recently, and kept that up this week to power into the final in Megrine. On Saturday, she beat Russian 5th-seed, Alina Shcherbinina in three sets, rallying from a set down to secure a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory and book her place in the final, and the young Nigerian is understandably elated.
“I feel very, very happy and grateful to everyone who’s been supporting me from the beginning of this year,” said Quadre.
A week ago, she finished in third-place at the African Junior Closed Championships for Under 16s in Hammamet, Tunisia. And while she was happy with her performance, she revealed a third-place finish wasn’t what she desired and noted that her sights were fixed on achieving better moving forward.
“Yes I am,” said the 15-year-old when asked if she’s already working to achieve better. “And I am looking forward to what the future holds for me,” she added.
Quadre will now take on Russia’s Maria Bondarenko, who hasn’t dropped a set so far, in the final on Sunday. Quadre acknowledges she’s a difficult player to play against, but says there’s already a plan in store for her.
“She [Bondarenko] is a very aggressive player,” said Quadre. “So tomorrow [Sunday] is going to be tough for sure.
“The game plan is simple. For an aggressive baseliner, I need to mix up my pace and direction and be ready to play 100 balls if possible. My game plan has been almost the same this past one week on hard court. I have been using the plan ‘outlast and outthink’. And this is the same thing I will use tomorrow [Sunday].”
When she takes to court in Sunday’s final in the North African city, Nigerians at home will be rooting for her. It means a lot to the young Nigerian playing in her first final in a Grade 3 tournament, and she’s brimming with confidence.
“It’s my first final of 2019,” she said. “First final in a Grade 3 and I am finally going to break the jinx.”