Nigeria's Sylvester Emmanuel yesterday crashed 6-3, 5-7, 5-7 to Uganda's Duncan Mugabe as the second leg of this year's Tombim Abuja Open served off at the tennis courts of the National Stadium Abuja.
Emmanuel, the world number 1546 broke his Southern African opponent in the fourth and sixth games of the opening set before serving out the set for a 6-3 win.
Mugabe showed signs of frustration as he was eager to take control of the game but Emmanuel stood his ground holding on his serves in the second set. A tie break-decider looms large as there was no break in up till the twelfth and final game but Mugabe broke the homeboy to a devastating effect for a 7-5 win prompting a final set.
At 6-5 to the advantage of Mugabe -amid both players breaking each other in the third and sixth game- the same scenario played out in the final set as Mugabe broke while Emmanuel was serving to force a tie-break decider.
In order matches, top seed Aldin Setkic bagged a hard-fought 6-1, 6-7, 6-3 win over Spain's Aaron Alcaraz with the Bosnian progressing after a test that lasted 2hrs 20mins.
Egyptian duo of Issam Taweel and Karim-Mohammed Maamoun also progressed to the second round with triumphs over Indian Chandril Sood and Alexander Igoshin of Russia 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 and 6-1, 6-3 respectively.
A dozen of first round matches are on the card today with Nigerians involved in four.
Moses Michael faces a Herculean task as he battles Dutchman Antal van Der Duim, the winner of the first leg while Joseph Ubon keep a date with Ilija Vucic of Serbia.
Christopher Edward and Thomas Otu are also expected to face tough challenges as when they battle will also have their hands full as they confront Austrian Lenny Hampel and Zimbabwe's Mark Fynn.
Some other key matches will see Mohamed Safwat of Egypt confronts Zimbabwe's Takanyi Karaganga; Hunter Reese of the USA against Turker Vorster of South Africa; Simeon Rossier of Switzerland faces David Pel of the Netherlands and Sherif Sabri of Egypt takes on Pirmin Haenle of Germany.