Mofifunoluwa Atilola was the star at the 9th edition of the FAAN Tennis Club Junior Tennis Championship in Lagos.
Mofifunoluwa Atilola was the star of the day when the FAAN Tennis Club rounded off the 9th edition of its week-long Junior Tennis Championship in Lagos.
The Lagos Lawn Tennis Club player was the cynosure of all eyes as she edged out another fans favourite, Roseline Nana, in both finals that the girls played in.
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Atilola and her new rival qualified for the finals in two different categories, the U-12 and U-14 categories after recording amazing results and upsets in the course of the championship, but it was their finale that got guests at the FAAN Tennis Club on their feet the most.
10-year-old Mofifun won 4-2, 2-4, 12-10 in the U-12 final, and returned to inflict a 5-4, 4-2 win over her emotional opponent in the U-14 final.
In other final matches, Ominiyi Joseph produced moments of magic to outplay Samuel Adegbite in the boys U-12 with a 4-0, 4-2 win just as Toheed Oseni put up a virtuoso performance to defeat Joseph Ogunyemi 5-3, 4-2 in the boys U-14 final.
Toluwalase Agunbaide was outstanding in her two sets win over Jasmine Osho in the girls U-16 final. The match ended 6-1, 6-1 as the tennis fans cheered on.
The boys U-16 final match rounded up a very eventful evening as Michael Nekepkemi and Idris Ajao ensured the tournament ended in a very high pitch. The both put up a fight and ended the match in a final set thriller.
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Nekepkemi, who starred at the National Youth Games in Ilorin in 2021, ended up with the big win that sealed the match. He won 6-3, 6-7, 10-7.
In a chat with Nigeria Tennis Live after the encounter, Joe Ujoh, the FAAN Tennis Club Captain, expressed his excitement at having the kids compete at this level, stating that the quality of players showed how big the event has become in nine years.
"About 70 kids registered this year, we'd have had more but for the postponements which eventually clashed with resumption of some of the players.
"As you can see, the quality of players in this competition has risen, however, we are sure that there is still room for more exposure and to grow tennis in Nigeria," he said, adding that the club is looking at the possibility of trying out other surfaces for the players to compete on different surfaces.
Barrister Oladele Ige, the Club's Vice Captain, also noted that the competition is purely developmental and there are no immediate plans to make it a senior national event despite their growth over the years.
According to him: "It's the baby tournament of FAAN Tennis Club and we are so glad with the calibre of players who have passed through this event since we started about nine years ago.
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"The likes of Oyinlomo Quadre and Marylove Edwards have played this tournament in the past, and we can see where they are today. So, the idea remains to ensure development of tennis and to catch them young."