Top seed, Joseph Imeh put up a commanding display to beat Michael Chima 6-3, 6-4 and advance to the quarterfinals of the Vemp Open in Abuja.
The 20-year-old, who was adjudged Nigeria’s best player in 2017, took the first set comfortably. Chima would make a good account of himself in the second set, but Imeh ultimately proved too strong as he wrapped up the match on Centre Court.
“I played very well… I’d say I gave 100%,” Imeh, who thrashed Tochukwu Ezeh 6-1, 6-1 in the first round, said. “I did a good thing out there today and I feel ready to go for tomorrow [against Clifford].”
Imeh will next face Clifford Enosoregbe in what is billed to be an enthralling quarterfinal clash.
Enosoregbe, former Nigeria’s No.1, made light work of Michael Amos as he claimed a 6-1, 6-1 victory on Court 1. Enosoregbe has yet to concede more than a game in a single set so far, having accounted for Shehu Lawal 6-1, 5-0(rtd) in the first round. Given Clifford’s brutal form right now, Joseph Imeh says the quarterfinal clash is one match that shouldn’t be missed.
“He [Clifford] is a good player, no doubt. He’s playing well, also on his top form. Definitely, tomorrow’s will be a good match to watch.”
Elsewhere, Sunday Emmanuel got the better of Dala Hard Court champion, Thomas Otu 6-4, 5-1(rtd). Otu looked out of sorts from the onset as he struggled to keep up with the flow of play.
With the score set at 2-2 in the second set, the 24-year-old had an altercation with the umpire while complaining about what he called “unfair officiating.” He then received a double code violation for unsportsmanlike behaviour and that resulted in a game penalty. Otu lost composure thereafter and retired later on due to injury.
Sunday Emmanuel, meanwhile, will now play Rainoil Open champion, Henry Atseye for a place in the semifinals. Atseye had recovered from a slow start to beat Nonso Madueke 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 to advance.
The Vemp Open, which is being held at the Abuja Tennis Centre, National Stadium Package ‘B’, Abuja, will have its final curtain fall on Saturday, 8 September.