There was a major upset in the men’s singles event of the Dala Hard Court Tennis Championship holding at the Kano Tennis Club on Tuesday.
The 2014 CBN Open champion, Henry Atseye, who was widely seen as one of the pre-tournament favourites, was knocked out by Emmanuel Idoko who triumphed 6-3, 6-3.
However, unlike Atseye, Thomas Otu, who won the CBN top prize in 2015 progressed to the second round by beating Idris Aiyu 6-4, 6-4.
Also, the defending champion for the Dala tournament, Sylvester Emmanuel, began his quest to retain men’s singles title with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Tochukwu Ezeh.
His elder brother, Sunday Emmanuel, who won the title in 2013 before switching base to the US, where he spent over a year, also secured an easy 6-0, 6-2 first round win over Dauda Ayuba.
Nonso Madueke was among those that earned passage to the second round after beating John Otu 6-1, 6-4 and he is joined by Albert Bikom who conquered Ibrahim Badamasi 6-4, 7-5. Joseph Imeh came from a set down to beat Monday Igbinovia 3-6, 5-3 rtd.
Youngster, Chritopher Bulus of Aces Tennis, continued his impressive showing by beating Shehu Adamu 7-6, 5-1 to earn a passage to the second round.
He played four qualifying tournaments before reaching this stage and he look good to cause one or two upsets.
Christopher Edward also joined the second round train with a 6-0, 6-2 triumph over Ikilil Sani-Waziri.
In the women’s singles, Christy Nwankwo defeated Pauline Ebijimi 6-3, 6-2, while Loveth Donatus dumped Colleen Orji 6-2, 6-2.
Meanwhile, men’s top seed, Moses Michael, has expressed the desire to win the tournament after losing the final last year.
The reigning Central Bank of Nigeria Open champion is scheduled to shift base to the US in February where he will be schooling till 2021.
“I’m looking forward to go a step better this time. Winning the tournament would be a just reward for my efforts this year because I trained harder than I used to,” the Tombim-sponsored player stated.