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Dayak Championship: Sylvester Emmanuel defeats American to reach second round

*Calvin Hemery too records victory

Nigeria’s top player on the ITF rankings, Sylvester Emmanuel, Tuesday defeated Aron Pierce of the USA 6-4, 6-4 to move to the second round of the Dayak Championship Nigeria F2 Futures holding in Abuja.

It was a big relief for the 19-year-old, world no 1205, who is on a two-year Rainoil sponsorship to the Pereriba Tennis Academy Spain, having crashed out from the first round at the Tombim Open Nigeria F1 Futures last week.

“I’m happy to win and because the American was hitting the ball so hard I had to control his serves. It was a good match I played better than I did last week and I believe I can still do better in my next game. It will be great if I can reach the quarter-final,” he said.

He now sets up a second round meeting with Canadian Brayden Schnur; the second seed North American, who defeated Indian Anvit Bendre 6-3, 6-0.

It was about the best day for Nigeria since the tennis festival began on 1st May with the Tombim open as top seed, Calvin Hemery gave the home fans more to cheer about as the French-Nigerian endured a torrid day to scale the challenge of Guatemalan Christopher Diaz-Figueroa 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 6-2. His next match is against Paul, who progressed to the next stage courtesy of his 7-6 (4) 6-7, 7-6 (10) win over countryman Thomas Otu.

Clifford Enosoregbe failed in his bid to get another second round ticket like he did last week as he was edged by Mateusz Smolicki of Poland 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5).

Fernando Romboli came out superior in his battle against fellow Brazillian, Fabiano De Paula with a  7-6 (5), 6-2. Indian duo of Sasi Kumar Mukund and Kunal also progressed from the first round with 7-6 (4), 6-2 win over Joze Azorin of Spain and Gary Tokas 6-0, 6-3.

In the doubles, Alessandro Bega of Italy and vViktor Durasovic of Norway defeated Moez Echagui of Tunisia and Thomas Setodji of France 6-3, 6-4 to move to the quarterfinals. Also through are Zimbabwe’s Takanyi Garaganga and Mark Fynn who were a game up before their opponents Britain’s Alexis Canter and Karim Hossam of Egypt retired. Joseph Edili and Aliyu Shehu of Nigeria also fell to Pedro Bernadi of Brazil and Diaz-Figuegoa of Guatemala 6-4, 6-1.

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