Nigerian tennis sensation, Marylove Edwards, who’s currently based in the United States, will, alongside 15 other junior stars, feature in this year’s Zenith Bank ‘Next Generation’ Junior Tennis Masters, which will take place from 10 June to 15 June at the National Tennis Centre in Surulere, Lagos.
The 14-year-old, who has been at the IMG Tennis Academy in Florida, USA, since 2017, training in preparation for a professional tennis career, will join 15 of the country’s best junior players in the jostle for top honours.
The Zenith Bank ‘Next Gen’ Masters, which debuted in 2018 and organized by the International Tennis Federation, is aimed at enabling the most talented players between the ages of 16 and 21 to upstage the senior players and will have the top eight boys and girls compete in two round-robin groups each, with the top two in each group advancing to the semifinals.
Musa Mohammed, who competed at the 3-week ITF World Tennis Tour tournaments in Abuja in April, Philip Abayomi, who’s the defending champion, last year’s beaten finalist, Godsgift Timibra, Michael Osewa, Sanni Musa, and Tochukwu Ezeh are part of the elite field in the boys category. The last two spots in the category will be contested for via playoffs, with Michael Ayoola, Matthew Abamu and Wilson Igbinovia slugging it out for the two spots.
The girls’ category comprise Marylove Edwards, Omolayo Bamidele, who is fresh off a title-run at the just-concluded SNEPCo Futures Tennis Championship, Favour Moses, who finished as runner-up at the SNEPCo C’ship, Rebecca Ekpeyong, Chidinma Ezeh, Iye Onoja and Oiza Yakubu. Toyosi Adeusi and Jumai Mohammed will be alternates.
Phillip Abayomi won the boys title last year, defeating Godsgift Timibra in the final, while teenage star, Oyinlomo Quadre, who’s currently at a High Performance Centre in Casablanca, Morocco, clinched the girls title, with victory over Toyin Asogba in the final.
Arrival date for the tournament will be on the 10th, while the round-robin action will get under way on the 11 – 13th. Semifinals will be on the 14th and the grand finale will take place on the 15th.