The free-fall of Nigerian tennis continued yesterday when no fewer than five home talents crashed out of the Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Futures 11 at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan.
After last week’s dismal outing of the local players at the International tennis Federation-sanctioned Futures event, some tennis faithful were hoping to see a better performance from their home stars, who however failed to lift their game beyond the realm of the ordinary, losing out in the first round of the men’s and women’s singles draw.
Unlike what occurred in the first Futures, where about three of them reached the second round, with Christian Paul getting as far as the quarterfinal, what happened yesterday was simply a non-starter.
Having shown signs of brilliance and good play last week, Paul was simply a shadow of himself, losing in straight sets 2-6, 1-6 to Ben McLachlan of New Zealand. It was an unceremonious way to crash out of the $15, 000 tournamet.
Also biting the dust of defeat yesterday,Thomas Otu fell in quick sets 0-6, 2-6 to second seed from South Africa,Harris Llyod of South Africa while Christopher Edwar stumbled at the first hurdle, losing 2-6, 2 -6 to third seed from Zimbabwe, Takanyi Garanganga.
The trail of defeats spread into the women’s singles as Patience Onebamhoin lost I quick sets 0-6, 0-6 to Prarthana Thombare of India, while Osariemen Airhunmwundealso lost in straight sets 0-6, 1-6 to Ushua Suhail of Pakistan
Nigerian-born Russian player, Melissa Ifidzhen defeated Sabath Ibrahim 6-1, 6-0 just as Norwegian Ulrikke Eikeri advanced to the second round with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Ester Masuri of Israel
Other first round matches are billed to be completed on Tuesday with no fewer than five Nigerian players scheduled for action.