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Zenith Bank ‘Nextgen’ juniour Masters begins in Lagos

Zenith Bank MD, Mr. Peter Amangbo

By Babatunde Ogunrinde

 Sixteen players served off the Zenith Bank NextGen Junior Masters on Tuesday as Stephen Augustine defeats Emmanuel Jebutu 9-7, while Omolade Adeyemi crushed Kausarat Adegboyega, 9-1 in day one actions.

The players — males and females — began the quest to emerge the best player of the elite competitions for U-18 players will be concluded on April 28.

The competition is holding at the Tennis Courts of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.

Godwin Kienka, the organiser of the tournament, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) during the day one action that the players on parade are the best in the junior ranks.

Kienka, who is the Director of the International Tennis Academy, said the tournament had always given players the opportunity to develop into the senior ranks.

“The junior masters basically is for players who have made their necessary marks based on last year’s performance at the other junior cadres of competitions.

“The top eight in the country have been isolated so that they can compete among themselves to make a quick transition to the senior ranks.

“The competition is set aside to give players that psychological boost to strive to be among the best eight to be discovered and make it as great tennis player,’’ Kienka said.

NAN reports that the eight boys invited for Masters are Michael Oshewa boy’s 18 champions, Godgift Timibra, Stephen Augustine, Tochukwu Ezeh, Michael Ayoola, Emma Jebutu, Philip Abayomi and Gabriel Friday.

Friday is the winner of the boys U-16 title at the just-concluded CBN Junior Championships which held in Abuja, while Mathew Abamu the runner-up will standby as the alternate.

To slug it out in the girl’s category are Oyin Quadre, semi-finalist at the African Junior Championship Girl’s U-16, Favour Moses winner of CBN Junior Championship, Omolade Aderemi, Omolayo Bamidele and Toyin Asogba.

Others are Kasara Adegboyega, Mariam Alli-Balogun, and Rebecca Ekpeyong, while Oiza Yakubu, winner of the Girl’s U-14 CBN Juniors will serve as alternate.

The tournament, according to the organisers, will have the players divided into two round robin groups of four with the top two finishers playing a cross semi-finals.

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