Nigerian tennis stars crash out of Governor’s Cup

The Nigerian tennis players were not as good as their foreign opponents


The gulf between Nigerian tennis players and their foreign counterparts was evident on Monday as the Main draws of the first leg of the Governors Cup served off in Lagos.

In the first round of the Main Draws of the biggest tennis tournament in the country, highly ranked Nigerian players were eliminated.

Nigeria’s number one player, Shehu Lawal, was a shadow of himself as he was defeated in straight sets of 6-0,6-2 by Spain’s Borja Rodriguez Mantano at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan.

Abdulmumni Babalola, ranked among the top five tennis players in , gave a better fight but was sent out of the FCMB Plc and Etisalat Nigeria sponsored tournament by an Italian, Alesandro Petrone, in another straight sets of 7-6, 6-4.

For little known Kehinde Alade, it was a tennis lesson gotten from Alesandro Bega, who defeated him, 6-1, 6-1 in another Men’s Singles game.

Even females too

Nigerian female tennis players were not exempted from the first round defeat.

Rita Obasigie was sent packing by a German, Michela Frlicka, 6-0, 6-0; while London-based Adeyinka Elisabeth Thompson was stopped by Chanel Simmonds of South Africa, 6-0, 6-0. Sofia Dmitrieva of Russia beat Osariemen Airhunmwunde 6-1, 6-0.

There was victory for a Nigerian though as Sanni Adamu defeated compatriot, Umaru Balami, 7-6, 1-6, 7-5 in the Men’s Singles.

In other first round results, Zarah Razafimahatratra of Madagascar defeated Kyra Shroff of India 7-6, 6-0.

An Israeli, Ester Masuri, beat Aramba Andrdy of India 6-1, 6-2; while Greek Stamatia Fafallou defeated Nour Azzouz of Egypt 6-1, 6-0.

Other matches of the first round will be decided Tuesday.

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Tunde Eludini is a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria where he studied International Relations. He is a Senior Correspondent coordinating the sports section for PREMIUM TIMES. Twitter@tundeyeludini

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