Michael Michael bounced back from an opening set loss against Joseph Iyoroube to power to victory, while Uche Oparaoji held firm impressively to defeat a determined Musa Bala in the first round of the Vemp Open Tennis Championship in Abuja on Monday.
Michael made up for his sluggish display in the opening set as he raced to a 4-0 lead in the second set. Iyoroube would regain composure, but it was already too late as Michael held firm to wrap up the second set 6-3, taking the match to a decider. With Iyoroube struggling from an obvious discomfort which required medical attention, Michael took the third set with minimum fuss and claimed a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory to advance to the second round.
On Court 2, lefthander, Uche Oparaoji combined his superb quick feet and excellent forehand to beat Musa Bala 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. Oparaoji will now fancy his chances of advancing to the quarterfinals when he takes on either Abamu Martins or Oche Adehi in the second round.
Also, Michael Chima eased past 20-year-old Ikechukwu Iloputa 6-2, 6-3, while Musa Mohammed edged Henry John 7-6, 6-3.
In the women’s bracket, Temitope Fashanu started poorly against Patience Onebamhoin and got handed a bagel in the first set. She then tried to make a better showing in the second set, but Onebamhoin stay composed to claim a 6-0, 7-5 victory. Onebamhoin will next play Bukola Olowu, who thrashed Afolarin Akosile 6-2, 6-0.
Elsewhere, Aanu Aiyegbusi whistled past Blessing Anuna 6-1, 6-1, while Osariemen Airhunwunde soundly defeated Ramota Odeyemi 6-2, 6-2.
In other matches, Stella Udokwelu came through with a 6-4, 6-4 win, while Faith Sunday failed to progress as she was dumped out 6-2, 6-2 by Ebere Fortune.
Oluchi Ozurumba accounted for Ngozi Dirisu 6-0, 7-5, while Donatus Loveth went past Mary Tenu-Michael 6-2, 6-2.
First round action continues on Tuesday with a host of big names scheduled to play.