*As Babalola, Lawal bows out of tourney
Number one ranked and defending women singles champion, Christy Agubgom beat Patience Onobamhoin to set up a final match showdown with Blessing Samuel as the 30th Dala Hard Court tennis championship as it draws to a close in Kano. Samuel, on her part, showed great composure to beat the 2015 finalist, Sarah Adegoke 6-1, 5-7, 6-3.
In the men’s singles, Joseph Imeh showed grit and determination to seal victory against Abdulmumin Babalola in an explosive encounter winning 3-6, 7-6, 7-6. His reward is a semi-final meeting with Moses Micheal; the top seed outlasting Shehu Lawal 6-1, 0-6, 6-4 in another excruciating match.
“This is undoubtedly one of the toughest match I have ever played in my career. Mumuni’s experience reflected in his game but I was so determined not to lose the game and in the end I won. We were both tired because we played so many games. I thank God I won in the end and I now believe I can beat anybody and win the tournament,” said Imeh, a former Nigeria junior player seeking his first national senior tournament title.
Thomas Otu is also two wins away from the top prize as the former Nigeria number one ranked player defeated Emmanuel Idoko 6-3, 6-2. Otu will meet the winner of the game between defending champion, Sylvester Emmanuel and Emmanuel Sunday whose match were suspended due to poor visibility. The match was tied 1-1 and it will be completed Friday morning.
In the men’s doubles semifinal, Clifford Enosoregbe and Nonso Madueke defeated Albert Bikom and Sunday Maku 2-6, 6-2, 10-5.
“It has been a very tough championship as all the players are so much determined to go for the top prize. The match between Imeh and Babalola is a classic so also the match involving Moses and Lawal. It has been an impressive tournament by all standard,” Yusus Datti, the Chief Operating Officer of the tournament said.
Datti revealed that the men’s singles champion for the tournament will be rewarded with N800,000 while the women’s champion will pocket N500, 000.