This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: NNPC Junior Tennis - Odeyemi Upsets Mohammed to Win U-16

Ayobami Odeyemi from Abeokuta Sports Club Sunday upset the No.1 seed, Mohammed Mohammed, from Abuja to win the boys 16 singles title of the NNPC Junior Circuit Championships which ended Sunday in Lagos.

Odeyemi, the third seed, saved a total of 11 break points on his serves in the pro set match which ended 9-7.

Mohammed who was tipped to win the tournament lost his serve to trail 2-4 but turned on the heat down 4-8, saving two match points in the final game but the Abeokuta boy managed to hang on to win.

However, the revelation of the tournament was 9-year-old Kasara Adegboyega from the Gentle Hearts Global Harvest in Ibadan. She won all her round robin matches and in the finals beat Venus Ubiebi, an 11-year-old who says she wants to do as well as her more famous namesake, Venus Williams, 9-3.

Other winners in the weeklong championship were: Kasara Salami from Ilorin who won the girls 16 by beating team mate Bunmi Are 9-2; David Amuzu who won the boys 12 event beating Gabriel Friday from the Co Foundation Kaduna and John Dickson also of the Co Foundation who beat Olumide Ayoola from Lagos 9-1.

The finals was watched by over 1000 school children from Lagos Schools, a plan the International Tennis Academy says is aimed at encouraging more children to take up the sport.

In her remarks, an official of the Group Public Affairs Department of the NNPC, Mrs Chinwe Agulefo said; "We are impressed with the organisation and the high level of competitiveness these juniors have exhibited. This circuit has played a huge part in producing good juniors who are doing well at the senior level and it is only a matter of time before we have world class players from Nigeria."

Among the dignitaries present at the finals were Chairman of the Lagos State Tennis Association, Dr Ade Bero, President of the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Sam Egbuchunam , MD of Intercontinental Homes, Mr Niyi Akinlusi, a former executive director of Access Bank and former national champion, Kehinde Ajayi.

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