Abayomi Philips, the tournament’s top seed, got off to a great start at the NTF International Junior Championships in Abuja, as he made light work of Uche Emeruwa to advance to the quarter-finals.
The 17-year-old, who’s seeking a second ITF Junior title this year, claimed a straightforward 6-0, 6-3 victory over Emeruwa on Court 5.
Up next for Philips is Gabriel Friday, who brushed off the disappointment of a first set loss to beat Michael Emmanuel 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-1 and advance.
Elsewhere, Musa Mohammed kept up his impressive form with a straight-set victory over 4th seed, Michael Osewa. Mohammed was rarely troubled in the opening set, but had to dig deep in the second to prevail, 6-2, 7-6(3) and set up a quarter-final showdown with Joshua Aji, the 5th seed, who dismissed Elisha Olowogbile 6-2, 6-2.
Qualifier, Canice Abua also advanced to the quarter-finals, following a 6-2, 7-6(3) victory over Ojo Fredrick. Abua will next confront 2nd seed, Assil Boussayri of Morocco, who edged Wilson Igbinovia 7-5, 6-3.
3rd seed, Emmanuel Jebutu came from a set down to claim a 4-6, 7-6(8) 3-0 (rtd) victory over David Dawariye. Dawariye had claimed the first set and had three match points in the second set but couldn’t convert any, as Jebutu fought back to secure the set and force a decider. The third seed would open a 3-0 lead in the third set, before Dawariye retired due to injury.
In the girls field, top seed Marylove Edwards kick-started her campaign on a very fine note, beating Joy Samuel 6-2, 6-2 to move into the quarter-finals. For a place in the semis, Edwards will take on Jade Haller of Switzerland, who eased to a 6-2, 6-1 win over Nigeria’s Charity Patrick.
4th seed, Oiza Yakubu produced a determined performance to beat Omolade Aderemi 7-5, 6-4. Aderemi had the brighter start, though, as she raced to a 5-1 lead in the opening set. The youngster, however, squandered her lead; Yakubu stepping back in to win 6 games on the bounce to take the set before working her way through the second.
Yakubu next plays Rebecca Ekpenyong, who beat Morenikeji Durowoju 6-1, 6-2.
Elsewhere, Jesutoyosi Adeusi rallied from a set down to secure a tight 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(5) victory over Serena Teluwo, while Naa McKorley defeated Toyin Asogba 7-5, 6-2.
France’s Iantsatiana Ratovondrahona brushed aside Naomi Samuel 6-1, 6-0, while Blanche Minet edged Omolayo Bamidele 6-4, 6-3.
In the doubles field, Emmanuel Jebutu and Abayomi Philips came from a set down to knock out the duo of Musa Mohammed and Sani Musa 3-6, 6-4, 11-9 and move into the semifinals. Jebutu and Philips will next take on the pair of Uche Emeruwa and Elisha Olowogbile, who required three sets to get past Canice Abua and Ojente Azamata, 6-3, 0-6, 10-4.
Joshua Aji and Rubi Toba defeated David Dawariye and Wilson Igbinovia 7-6(5), 6-1, while the Nigerian-Moroccan duo of Michael Osewa and Assil Boussayri edged Benjamin Ayuba and Abdulraheem Isa 6-2, 7-5.
In the girls doubles, the top-seeded duo of Marylove Edwards and Blanche Minet thrashed Charity Patrick and Mariam Salami 6-0, 6-1 to set up a semifinal showdown with Tosin Asogba and Jade Haller. Asogba and Haller, from Switzerland, combined effectively to beat Jesutoyosi Adeusi and Omolayo Bamidele 6-4, 7-5.
Omolade Aderemi and Rebecca Ekpenyong eased past the Austrian-French duo of Oyinkansola Durowoju and Iantsatiana Ratovondrahona 6-4, 6-2, while Serena Teluwo and Oiza Yakubu held firm to claim a narrow 6-3, 4-6, 11-9 victory over Naomi Samuel and Joy Samuel.