Nigeria: Marylove, Oparaoji Make History At Lagos Tennis Cup

17 June 2021

Teenage tennis star, Marylove Edward and Uche Oparaoji made history at the weekend when they became the first ever women and men's singles champions of the Lagos Tennis Cup.

At the five-day tournament played at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club in Onikan, 3rd seed, Edward, brushed aside the more experienced No. 2 seed, Aanu Aiyegbusi 6-2, 6-2 in the final to claim the crown, while Oparaoji cruised to a 6-1, 6-0 win over Timibra Godsgift.

The maiden Lagos Tennis Cup organised by the Tennis Management Company in conjunction with the Nigerian Tennis Federation, featured 16 of the best tennis players in Nigeria who qualified for the event after finishing in the quarter-finals of the recent CBN Open played last month in Abuja.

Edward, 16, took full advantage of the absence of the No.1 seed, Oyinlomo Quadri, who beat her 6-1, 6-0 in the CBN Senior Open final, to cruise to the title and claim the N500,000 prize money without dropping a single set.

Quadri had pulled out of the tournament just before it began as she was caught in the middle of securing a visa to feature in Nigeria's maiden Fed Cup appearance in Lithuania.

Her Fed Cup partner, Sarah Adegoke, however opted to play, but retired due to injury after setting up a semi-final clash with Edward.

In the men's final No. 3 seed, Oparaoji, dispatched an apparently fatigued Timibra in straight sets to claim the ultimate prize. The Imo State star was merciless against his Bayelsa opponent who had reached the final after playing four three-setters.

Oparaoji reached the final following the retirement of No. 1 seed Joseph Imeh - who beat him in the CBN Open final - in the second set of their semi-final clash due to a sore hand. Oparaoji had however taken the first set 7-5.

Imeh became one of four retirees at the tournament as players paid a steep price for participating in three grueling back-to-back tournaments in a space of one month, including the DavNotch Cup, the CBN Senior Open and the Lagos Tennis Cup.

The winners got N500,000 each, while the runners-up received N250,000. The semi-finalists earned N125,000, while group stage participants got N75,000 each.

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