The wildcard playoffs for the Tombim Abuja Open got underway at the National Tennis Centre, Abuja, on Saturday, with players jostling for the one wildcard slot available via the play-offs.
In the top half of the draw, Abdoulaziz Bationo of Ivory Coast defeated Nigeria’s Albert Bikom to reach the quarterfinals, where he got a walkover into the semi-finals after Joseph Imeh withdrew from the play-offs. Bationo defeated Tochukwu Ezeh in the last four to book a place in Sunday’s final.
In the bottom half of the playoffs draw, Darryl Hale defeated Gabriel Friday in the second round to advance to the quarterfinals, but the Brit was denied further progress by Marko Vejnovic of Sweden.
Vejnovic would go on to defeat Nigeria’s Musa Mohammed in the semis to set up a final showdown with Abdoulaziz Bationo in the final.
Four Nigerian players had withdrawn from the play-offs, with Sylvester Emmanuel, Joseph Imeh, Henry Atseye and Emmanuel Sunday all opting out.
Emmanuel and Imeh will now battle for spots in the main draw through the qualifying tournament, which starts on Monday, 8th April.
Four wildcards will be given for the Tombim Open. 14-year-old Mukhtar Andu has already secured one, another one will be given to the winner of the playoff final, while the remaining two wildcards will be at the discretion of the organizers.
The wildcard playoff final between Marko Vejnovic and Abdoulaziz Bationo will hold on Sunday, 7 April, at the National Tennis Centre, Abuja.