The four players standing in each field will slug it out for a place in the final of the Vemp Open on Friday at the National Tennis Centre, Abuja.
Sylvester Emmanuel takes on Nonso Madueke, while Joseph Imeh and Emmanuel Idoko face off. In the women’s field, Oyinlomo Quadre squares off against Blessing Samuel, while Ibironke Oladipo confronts Christie Agugbom.
Madueke, who’s ranked 13th, hasn’t lost a set en route to the semifinals, beating Thomas Otu, Charles Uwandu and Musa Mohammed to set up this clash with Emmanuel, who’s also without a set loss so far this week. Emmnauel, ranked No. 1, is looking to defend his title and also secure a second straight national title after his victory at the Rainoil Open last week. Can Madueke, who’s played impressively all week, stop him? Or will the defending champion stay right on track.
Friday’s other men’s singles semi-final between Imeh and Idoko will be a repeat of the pair’s semifinal contest at the Rainoil Open a week ago – a match Imeh comfortably won 6-0, 6-3. Imeh has enjoyed fantastic outings recently, with back-to-back final showings at the Dala Championship (which he won) and the Rainoil Open. Can he best Idoko again and reach a 3rd consecutive final?
Bar a come-from-behind three-set win against Emmnauel Sunday in the first round, Idoko has ticked through the draw without losing a set. Can he produce a better display against Imeh, get his revenge, and make the final?
Defending champion, Blessing Samuel will seek to stop Oyinlomo Quadre in her tracks in the women’s singles semis. Samuel lost to the 16-year-old in straights in the semis of the Rainoil Open last week, where she was defending champion, and will be hoping to avoid a repeat result.
However, Quadre, who’s ranked No. 1, has yet to lose a set in national tournaments this year. She’s aiming for a 4th consecutive national title and will try to remain right on course.
In the second women’s semis, Oladipo faces Agugbom. Agugbom lost to Samuel after holding a first set lead in the semi-finals last year and will try to go one better this time.
Oladipo, meanwhile, is into the semi-final in her debut appearance here. After notably knocking out last year’s runner-up, Loveth Donatus and No. 2 player, Aanu Aiyegbusi along the way this week, can she keep it going?
The men’s and women’s doubles final will also be played on Friday, with the pair of Joseph Imeh and Christian Paul taking on Nonso Madueke and Lawal Shehu for the men’s title. For the women’s, Omolayo Bamidele and Oyinlomo Quadre face Christie Agugbom and Blessing Samuel- their second final meeting in as many weeks, with Bamidele and Quadre beating Agugbom and Samuel at the Rainoil Open last week.
Friday’s Order of Play