Top seed Calvin Hemery booked his place in the finals of the Dayak Championship Nigeria F2 Futures in Abuja by edging Fernando Romboli of Brazil 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.
The Franco-Nigerian faces Pedja Krstin in Saturday’s final; the fourth seeded Serbian puts on a courageous display to beat second seed, Brayden Schnur of Canada 5-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2 in the day’s other semi-final match.
The result ended Schnur’s hope of landing his second straight title following his triumph at the Tombim Open Nigeria F1 Futures last Saturday.
Though no break was recorded in the opening 10 games of an enthralling match on Centre Court, as world no 298 Hemery never looked troubled against his South American opponent, especially on his serve which Romboli found difficult to return. Ironically, it was on his (Hemery) serve that the Brazilian got a breakthrough as the top seed double-faulted twice at 15- 15 to give Romboli two breakpoints which he successfully sealed before closing the set on his serve for 7-5 win.
Hemery, billed to play the qualifiers of the French Open later this month, won the first game of the second set but Romboli levelled before losing the next three games as he was broken to trail 4-1; and he never recovered as the set ended 6-3 for Hemery. The score was tied 4-4 after a break each for both players on the fifth and eighth games in the final set but another break by Hemery in the ninth game proved decisive as he held his serve on the tenth game to win 6-4.
The match between Schnur and Krstin was equally tight and it took a tie break to separate both men in the first set which the Canadian won but Krstin dug deep to level and complete a great comeback with an impressive display in the final set breaking the North American twice.
Hours later, Hemery failed in his bid to win the doubles as his partnership with Nigeria’s Sylvester Emmanuel could not match the play of Italian Alessandro Bega and Viktor Durasovic of Norway as they succumbed 6-4, 6-0.
The match which attracted FCT Minister, Muhammed Bello and Rainoil boss, Gabriel Ogbechie – who is sponsoring Emmanuel – among other dignitaries, saw Bega and Durasovic amended for their disappointing final at the Tombim Open where they lost the final to Brazilians Fabiano Fe Paula and Fernando Romboli, who incidentally were beaten by Hemery and Emmanuel in the first round.