By Babatunde Ogunrinde
Yemi Owoseni, a board member, Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF), on Saturday described the just-concluded Zenith Bank Junior Tennis Master (Nextgen) as a big success.
Owoseni told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the competition undoubtedly produced future stars.
NAN reports that eight female players and eight male players competed in the maiden edition that began on April 24 and ended April 28 at the National Stadium, Lagos.
Oyinlowo Quadri defeated Toyin Asogba, 9-1 as Abayomi Philips outplayed Godsgift Timibra, 9-7 to emerge the female and male champions, respectively.
Elated Owoseni told NAN that the sponsors had done much in supporting the programme.
“We want projects like this to give the younger generation the opportunity to be discovered and hopefully transit to the senior levels.
“We are happy about the competition which gave the young players the chance to showcase their talents.
“We hope many other corporate bodies can come to the rescue of tennis and other sports,’’ Owoseni said.
Godwin Kienka, the Coordinator of the tournament, told NAN that the players did well and proved their quality.
He said that it was big surprise for Philips to emerge the champion in the boys’ category.
“We have seen our young generation of players showcasing the stuff of competing at the highest level.
“Nobody gave Philips the chance to win the tournament; that he did it without losing to the other seven players is indeed noteworthy.
“The next step for this players is the CBN Senior Championships and the NCC Tennis League where they have been spotted by clubs,’’ Kienka said.
Michael Oshewa, Stephen Augustine, Tochukwu Ezeh, Michael Ayoola, Emma Jebutu and Gabriel Friday are the other male players.
Favour Moses, Omolade Aderemi, Omolayo Bamidele, Kasara Adegboyega, Mariam Alli-Balogun, Rebecca Ekpeyong and Oiza Yakubu are the girls.