The big guns are all out and firing as the CBN Senior Open clicks into full gear. From the first round that was severely delayed due to rain to the second round, there were plenty of impressive results.
Abdulmumin Babalola started his title defence on a good note as he eased to a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Henry John in the first round and stayed on track with a comfortable 6-1, 6-3 victory over youngster, Philips Abayomi on Tuesday to reach the third round. The 33-year-old will next play Michael Michael, who beat Anthony Leo 6-2, 6-1, for a place in the quarterfinals.
Nigeria’s number one and last year’s finalist, Joseph Imeh made light work of Taiwo Owolabi in the opening round on Monday, winning 6-2, 6-1, and then registered a 6-1, 6-4 win over John Otu to set up a crunch third round clash against veteran, Shehu Lawal, who defeated Tochukwu Ezeh 6-3, 6-3.
A blockbuster quarterfinal would be on the cards as the winner of that clash will face either Sylvester Emmanuel, who outlasted Musa Bala 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in the second round, or former national champion, Henry Atseye, who registered a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 win over Daniel Odeh to reach the third round.
Third seed Thomas Otu defeated lucky loser, Augustine Stephen 6-2, 6-4 in the first round and beat Opeyemi Odeyemi by the same scoreline in the second round to set up a showdown with former Nigeria’s No.1, Clifford Enosoregbe, who breezed past Martins Abamu 6-2, 6-2.
Meanwhile, Christian Paul, who represented Nigeria at the Davis Cup in Kenya last week bowed out after retiring in his second round match whilst trailing unheralded Musa Mohammed 6-4, 4-2.
Elsewhere in the women’s draw, defending champion, Sarah Adegoke kickstarted her campaign with an incredible statement as she dismantled Afolarin Akosile 6-0, 6-0, as though she meant to send out a clear message.
Ramota Odeyemi, who thrashed lucky loser, Faith Sunday 6-1, 6-0 will be faced with the herculean task of stopping Adegoke in the second round.
Blessing Samuel fought off a stiff challenge from youngster, Omotayo Osewa, winning 7-6(6), 6-4, while former number one, Christie Agugbom proved too much for Favour Moses, easing into the second round with a 6-1, 6-2 victory.