Abdulmumin Babalola must have decided on taking care of business as quickly as possible given the way he brushed Michael Chima aside to reach the quarterfinals of the Dala Hard Court in Kano on Wednesday.
Babalola, 33, wasted no time in bulldozing past Michael Chima 6-2, 6-0, ensuring he left enough in his tank in readiness for Musa Bala, who was rock solid against Abayomi Philips to claim a 6-4, 6-3 victory.
Babalola, who went out in the quarterfinals to Emmanuel Idoko last year, will seek to go one better this time as he bids to secure his first title at this event since 2012.
Meanwhile, Henry Atseye retired due to the injury midway through the first set whilst trailing Sunday Emmanuel 1-4. Atseye had struggled with the injury in the final of the Rainoil Open last week where he lost to Joseph Imeh, but hoped he’d be just fine to have a good campaign in Kano.
However, when Emmanuel, a two-time champion, carved out an early break in the opening set and began cruising, Atseye, who was already out of sorts, decided enough was enough, bringing the curtain down on his 2018 season.
Sunday Emmanuel will meet Sylvester Emmanuel, who had earlier eased past Henry John, in a mouthwatering quarterfinal showdown on Thursday.
Elsewhere, Emmanuel Paul, who sacked defending champion, Thomas Otu in the first round, ran out of ideas against Nonso Madueke as he was beaten 6-2, 6-4. Madueke faces a tougher test when he takes on Emmanuel Idoko for a place in the semis.
In the women’s field, it was smooth sailing for the big guns as top seed, Sarah Adegoke handed Osariemen Airhunwunde a bagel in the opening set before the latter was forced to retire due to injury. Adegoke will face Christie Agugbom for a place in the final.
Agugbom, who defeated Adegoke last week in the semifinals of the Rainoil Open, predictably blew away Fortune Ebere with a 6-0, 6-1 win, and will seek to get one over Adegoke again when they clash on Thursday.
Defending champion, Blessing Samuel stayed on track for a fifth Dala Hard Court crown with a no-nonsense 6-2, 6-3 victory over Ronke Akingbade.
The second seed barely put a foot wrong against Akingbade to set up a semi-final match against Patience Onebamhoin, who dismissed Blessing Anuna 6-2, 6-2 in the quarters.