Ageing Nigerian tennis player, Abdulmumuni Babalola failed to stand the firepower of Emmanuel Idoko following a 7-6, 6-1 loss in the opening round of the 3rd Rainoil Ikoyi Club Tennis Masters holding in Lagos.
Top seed, Thomas Otu also had a faltering start at the N1.5m prize-money championship exclusively for the top eight players in the men and women rankings by Nigeria Tennis Federation.
The former Nigeria’s number one was taken out with relative ease by Paul Christian 6-0, 6-2 making his next game against Emmanuel Sunday, who also bowed 6-1, 6-2 to Joseph Imeh, a crucial one.
“I played with a cramp in my elbow which happened very early in the match. I hope to recover on time so that I can play better because I’m determined to win this tournament,” he said after the match.
Defending champion, Clifford Enosoregbe Had no trouble as he saw off Nonso Madueke 6-2, 6-0 to keep his chance of qualifying to the last four on course.
In the women’s category defending champion, Sarah Adegoke made a good start by beating Omotayo Ibrahim, a last-minute replacement for Blessing Samuel, 6-4, 6-1 in the Bulk Storage group just as Patience Onebamhoin had a 6-3, 6-4 win over Loveth Donatus.
In the Marketing group, former champion, Christie Agugbom showed class by thumping Angel McLeod 6-0, 6-1 while Ronke Akingbade defeated Christie Nwankwo 6-3, 6-2.
The top two finishers in the groups move to the semifinals billed for Friday while the final holds on Saturday.