Tennis: 39th ITF/CAT Junior Championships: Osewa causes another upset, qualifies for semi-final

Nigeria’s Micheal Osewa continued his giant-killing run at the on-going Championship in Pretoria, South Africa, with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 triumph over Jason Espitalier of Mauritius, to qualify for the semifinal of the 14 & under of the 11-day event which will end on Saturday.

Osewa had on Monday caused the biggest shock of the tournament, which attracts about 120 players from 25 countries, with a come-from-behind 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over number one seed Younes Adnane of Morocco.

He also added his opponent from the Indian Ocean Island to his list of casualties in the quarterfinal clash at the High Performance Centre of the University of Pretoria.

The knockout stage has been a complete turnaround for the eighth-seeded Osewa, who started the tournament on a faltering note by losing to Eliakin Coulibaly of Cote d’Ivoire in the preliminary stage.

However, with the likes of second seed Elyes Marouani of Tunisia, Ahmed Atef of Egypt, who is the third seed and Khololwam Montsi, the tenth seeded South African, who halted the incredible run of Nigeria’s Gabriel Friday, all still in the race for the title, Osewa still has to up his game if he is to rule Africa.

Nigeria’s coach, Mohammed Ubale, expressed confidence in Osewa declaring he could beat all his rivals to the title but he was quick to add that he must avoid putting himself under pressure by trailing all the time.

He said: “Osewa is very hungry for success as he has been improving since the first game which he lost. He needs to be calm because he is always eager to hit the winners which he hasn’t been doing perfectly. Psychologically, he is always under big pressure after losing the opening set. He needs to avoid falling behind.”

Osewa is the only player left in contention for a title as the likes of Friday, Christopher Itodo, Christopher Bulus, Adetayo Adetunji, Angel McLeod, Barakat Qaudri and Marylove Edward have all exited from the singles events.


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