It was a day to forget for the Nigerian players at the Tombim Abuja Open, as they all bowed out in the opening round of the singles event.
Nigeria’s star player, Joseph Imeh put up a spirited display in his match against Netherlands’ Stephan Gerritsen. After losing the first set 1-6, the 20-year-old regained composure to take the second 6-4, but fell just short in the deciding set as he lost 1-6, 6-4, 3-6. Imeh now has the doubles event with partner, Takanyi Garanganga to look forward to.
Zimbabwe’s Garanganga, though, had rallied back from an opening set loss to stun Swiss, Mirko Martinez 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 to reach the second round in Abuja.
The 27-year-old will next play Stephan Gerritsen for a place in the quarterfinals.
In the other match, Sylvester Emmanuel failed to match the extra firepower of sixth seed Ronnie Schneider, as the American cruised to a 6-2, 6-3, while wild card benefactor, Michael Michael fell to a 6-0, 6-2 loss to Jamiee Floyd Angele of France.
In an earlier match, Frenchman, Remi Boutillier proved too much for Emmanuel Audu, subjecting the Nigerian to a 6-3, 6-0 defeat to advance to the second round where he will face Namibia’s Tukhula Jacobs, who thrashed third seed Kento Takeuchi 6-3, 6-2.
In the doubles event, the duo of Emmanuel Idoko and Christian Paul fell to 3-6, 2-6 defeat at the hands of Markus Eriksson and Maximilian Neuchrist, while Frenchmen, Tom Jomby and Remi Boutillier condemned the pair of Anurag Nenwani and Hugo Largo to a 6-2, 6-4 defeat.
Jomby and Boutillier will have the duo of Nigeria’s Sylvester Emmanuel and Tukhula Jacobs of Namibia to contend with for a place in the semifinals.
Elsewhere, India’s Aryan Goveas and Karununday Singh edged the pair of Kazuma Kawachi and Giovani Samaha 7-5, 3-6, 10-6 to set up a crunch quarterfinal clash with Joseph Imeh and Takanyi Garanganga.