David Ekpenyong of Nigeria beat Yakubu Lea of Ghana 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 on Saturday to qualify for the singles male category finals of the ongoing J5 World Tennis Championships in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the match was played in the first leg of the J5 ITF World Tennis Tour Abuja.
The Championship commenced on Monday and is expected to end on Sunday at the tennis complex of the Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
Ekpenyong took the lead in the first set 6-3. Lea worked his way back into the contest to hit back by 6 -3. Ekpenyong, however, always had the edge, built a lead and then won it 6-4.
Ekpenyong will now face Yusuf Abubakar in the finals on Sunday.
Speaking after the match, Ekpenyong told NAN that he was happy about the victory.
“My performance was better than the last tournament. I will continue to work harder and to see that I achieve my desired goals in the final.
On his part, Lea said it was a great loss. “I am seeded one in this tournament and losing to seeded three is a great loss.
“I didn’t calculate and I hope to lift the trophy next time around. I will put my best to hit my target.
“But I will not relent, there is still room for improvement and that’s in the second legs coming next week in Abuja.
“I will fight harder to ensure that I reach the final stage.
“I wish my opponent the best of luck as he rides to the final of the tournament,” he said.
In another male singles category, Desmond Ayaaba lost to Yusuf Abubakar in the semi-final 5-7, 3-6.
In the same arena earlier, the doubles events saw Desmond Ayaaba and Ekpenyong David beat the pair of Joseph Jimoh and Yakubu Lea 6-3, 6-4 to emerge the winner.
In the women’s singles, Indian Tamanna Takoria on Saturday
defeated Nigerian Ohunene Yakubu 6-1, 6-2 to advance to the finals of singles of the female category.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the match was played in the first leg of the J5 ITF Tennis World Tour Abuja, which began on Monday.
Yakubu was drawn by as she didn’t play in the preliminary round, coming into the quarter-final to defeat Sunmisola Okajare 6-2, 6-2 on Friday.
While Takoria on her part, was also drawn by as she didn’t play in the round match, coming into the quarter-final to thrash Mary Udoffa in two straight sets in the quarter-finals 6-3, 7-5.
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Takoria had more experience than Yakubu displayed in two straight sets to end her fairytale run.
Speaking after the match, Ohunene Yakubu said it was a wonderful performance display in the championship.
“I didn’t really play well. The semi-finals are always a little bit more difficult for everyone and I wasn’t pleased with my performance today.
“ I was playing a defensive game and that’s why I lost.
“I’ve played a lot of this kind of game and I hope to come back in the second leg and to surpass my expectation, but there is room for improvement.
“I think I did incredibly well to get so far,” she said.
Takoria will now face Indian Raja Sarvagna Kilaru in the finals on Sunday.
In another female singles category, Raja Sarvagna Kilaru beat Ozi-oiza Yakubu in the semifinals 6-1, 6-4, to qualify for the finals.
In the same arena earlier in the doubles events, the Indian pair of Raja Sarvagna Kilaru and Tamanna Takoria, defeated Nigerian duo, Ozi-oiza Yakubu and Ohunene Yakubu 6-1, 1-6 (10-6) to emerge winners.
A total of 47 players from Nigeria (host), India, Egypt, Germany, Ghana and Australia are participating in the championships.
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