National junior tennis coach, Mohammed Ubale, has promised that the mid-week NCC Tennis League fixtures would be more exciting, following the number of upsets recorded in the just-concluded Dala Hard Court tourney in Kano.
An excited Ubale confessed that he would be looking forward to mid-week fixtures in the league in Lagos and Kaduna, after some pulsating games involving some members of some teams in the leagues at the Dala Hard Court tournament.
“We are looking forward to some very exciting tennis from this new generation of players who completely shut out the older generation from the semi-final of the Dala Hard Court. Interestingly, all the semi-finalists; Thomas Otu, Joseph Imeh, Moses Michael and Sylvester Emmanuel are all in the running for the NCC League Cup.
“The match-ups over the two days – Emmanuel versus Imeh, Albert Bicom or Emmanuel Idoko against Monday Igbinovia and the ladies’ singles between Ronke Akingbade and Aanu Aiyegbusi would all be interesting to watch [because these are the new generation of tennis players],” assured Ubale, who would be on hand to oversee the said games.
Today’s fixtures would see Kaduna-based Team Offikwu and Lagos-based Team Leadway battle for the last semi-final ticket in their group at the Murtala Mohammed Square, Kaduna, today, November 29 and Wednesday, November 30, 2016.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s highest ranked ATP player and lead player for Team Offikwu, Sylvester Emmanuel, sounded a note of warning to teams eyeing the NCC Tennis League’s N7m star prize when he defeated No. 1 seed, Moses Michael 7-6, 6-4 to win the men’s singles of the 2016 Dala Hard Court Championships.
Emmanuel, who struggled through the quarter finals against Sunday Emmanuel, winning 5-7, 7-6, 6-3, would lead his side against Team Leadway, who also have their own ace in Dala Hard Court finalist Joseph Imeh, who outlasted former national champion Abdulmumuni Babalola 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 in the quarter-finals.
The winner of the tie will meet the leader of the White Group in the second semifinals scheduled for the Abuja National Stadium Saturday Dec. 10 and Sunday Dec. 11 in Abuja.