The opening games of the 2022 Lagos Tennis Cup were interrupted for about an hour before play resumed with players completing the day’s schedule on Wednesday at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan.
Shining brightest on the day was late qualifier Godsgift Timibra. The Bayelsa star had to travel from Port-Harcourt overnight by road after receiving a last-minute call-up to replace title favourite and home boy Wilson Igbinovia who withdrew after failing to reschedule his flight to the USA because of the exorbitant penalty.
Despite his stressful trip, Timibra rallied to beat No. 5 seed Thomas Otu in straight sets 6-4, 6-3. Unfortunately for Otu he was one of a few players who had battle injuries to complete their games.
Next up for the maiden Lagos Tennis Cup finalist will be a game against the only Lagos-based men’s player left in the tournament, Phillip Abayomi. Abayomi opened his campaign in fine style after outlasting No.2 seed Nonso Madueke 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
Defending champion Uche Oparaoji looked set for a tricky opener against No.1 seed Henry Atseye, but instead earned a walkover after Atseye failed to show up. Oparaoji will now take on fellow Abuja-based player Peter Lawal who dispatched No.7 seed Chima Michael in straight sets 6-3, 6-1.
On his part, Chima will try to get his campaign back on track with a difficult game against Atseye who is expected to be on ground for his second round game.
Meanwhile first round vanquished Otu and Madueke will seek to earn their first points against each other next.
In the women’s category it was easy going for top seeds Marylove Edwards and Aanu Ayegbusi. Defending champion and No.1 seed, Marylove, coasted past Rachael Adunoye 6-3, 6-0 in straight sets, while Ayegbusi crushed Bunmi Are with two bagels of 6-0, 6-0.
In other games, a comeback from sixth seed Stella Udokwelu was halted by seventh seed Toyin Asogba after the latter triumphed 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 in three sets. In the final game of the day, 16-year-old Oiza Yakubu survived a fightback from late call-up Blessing Omotayo to earn her first win 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5).
Marylove continues her title defence against Omotayo, while Aayegbusi will take on the impressive looking Asogba. In the other group, Yakubu will take on Adunoye, while Udokwelu will play Are.