Five Nigerians are through to the quarterfinal of the Puma ITF Wheelchair Tennis Futures taking place at the National Tennis Centre, Package B, National Stadium, Abuja.
Expectedly, Alex Adewale and Wasiu Yusuf, the top two Nigerian players, made it to the quarterfinals and they are joined in the last 8 of the round of 16 draws for men by Kazeem Akanbi, William Ukari and KayodeAlabi who all recorded wins in the playoffs on Wednesday.
All the five Nigerian girls that are featuring in the $3,000 prize-money event are also through to the last eight in the women’s singles with Foluke Shodehinde having a tough task as she faces top seed, Jane Ndenga of Kenya in a quarterfinal tie on Thursday.
|Wheelchair tennis players. File Photo|
Kafayat Omisore, Tosin Dawodu, Chituru Nwazuzu and Oluwakemi Oluwasegun are the other women representing Nigeria.
Kenya are also represented in the men’s event by two players with Ghana having one and Nigeria’s coach Frank Tarmena is confident that the home boys will excel against their higher ranked rivals.
“The players are in good shape and are raring to go. They have trained so much for this championship and they should be able to handle their foreign counterparts” he said.
Tarmena while admitting that the hosts’ players are tournament rusty due to lack dearth of domestic tournaments as well as their inability to attend continental and international championship are aiming at top finish in the four day event with ITF points at stake alongside monetary rewards.
He added: “The standard is as high as you could ever think of in any part of Africa. Alex and Wasiu remain our brightest hopes and they look set to take the opportunity that this championship presents having been inactive on the international stage for some few years.”