Nigerian stars, Joseph Imeh and Sylvester Emmanuel, both secured tickets to the main draw of the Tombim Abuja Open after prevailing in their respective final qualifying round encounters at the National Tennis Centre in Abuja on Monday.
While Sylvester Emmanuel was at his brilliant best to beat his countryman, Tochukwu Ezeh 6-1, 6-1 and secure passage, Joseph Imeh gained entry via a walkover, after his opponent, Joshua Rose of Great Britain failed to show up on court.
Following his impressive showing against Tochukwu Ezeh, Sylvester Emmanuel, who turned 21 a week ago, will now take on Oleg Khotkov, also a qualifier, in the first round on Wednesday, while Joseph Imeh opens up against 2018 semifinalist, Danylo Kalenichenko of Ukraine.
The other Nigerians in the qualifying draw, Emmanuel Idoko and Michael Kesiye, came up short in their respective matches. Idoko fell to a 2-6, 4-6 defeat at the hands of USA’s William Bashamuka, while Kesiye was beaten 6-1, 6-0 by Sweden’s Simon Yitbarek.
Yitbarek was joined by his compatriot, Arvid Nordquist, in the main draw, after the Swede defeated Britain’s Darryl Hale 7-6, 6-3.
Elsewhere, Russia’s Alexey Dubinin came through a rollercoaster match to win 6-1, 1-6, 10-6 against Benin’s Arnaud Sewanou.
Main draw action will get underway on Tuesday at the National Tennis Centre, Abuja.