Team Nigeria continued its impressive match at the on-going ITF West/Central Africa U-18 Circuit in Cotonou, Benin Republic, with the duo of Angel McLeod and Barakat Quadri advancing to the quarterfinals after third-round wins on Thursday.
Both Nigerian lasses would now go neck-and-neck against themselves today, for a place in the semi-final of their category.
Debutante Quadri, dispatched Togolese Vania Dozie 6-0, 6-2, while McLeod scrapped past determined US-based Cameroonian Manuella Eloundou 6-4, 6-4.
With over 10 international tournaments under her belt, McLeod, the more experienced of the Nigerian girls, seemed on course for what looked like an easy match, as she raced into a 4-0 lead in the first set. Eloundou, however, Eloundou, recovered 4-4, but was broken in the ninth game before closing the set on her serve.
The second set saw Eloundou go up 3-0, but McLeod tied the match before eventually winning 6-4.
“We are doing very well because this is a big tournament with players from across the world. The top seed here is ranked number 571 in the world, despite being a junior player. I think that Barakat has improved a lot; she’s doing very well and Angel too is on top of her game. They are very young and at this level it’s good for Nigerian tennis,” Nigeria’;s national junior coach, Mohammed Ubale, said.
Though Nigeria is assured a place in the semi-final, it was not all rosy for the West African power-house, as Michael Osewa, Martins Abamu and Sikiru Alalade all lost their third-round matches to exit the Grade 4 hard court tournament holding at the Stade L’amite.