Abdulmumuni Babalola and Christy Agugbom have emerged as men and women singles winners of the 2014 Central Bank of Nigeria Open Tennis Championship.
Babalola, one of Nigeria’s top players in the last decade, made it his fifth win of title as he brushed aside defending champion, Henry Atseye with a commanding 6-2, 6-2 win to smile home with the N700, 000 champions prize-money while Atseye, who was rewarded by Abuja Tennis Club with a brand new car for his victory last year got N500, 000.
Agugbom, on her part, had to dig deep from her wealth of experience to beat debutant Elizabeth- Garos Pam 5-7, 7-5, 6-3. With Agugbom leading 5-3 and was leading 40-15 in the ninth game, the England-based Pam, currently on holiday in the country showed why she was Nigeria’s best performance in the ITF/CAT Africa Junior Championship in Kenya in March as she saved two match points before winning three straight games to take the first set.
Agugbom, 2008 champion, who lost in the final of the 2013, took advantage of her opponent’s height as she lobbed the ball continuously which eventually took it’s toll on Garos-Pam, who made series of unforced errors. The two players were rewarded with the same prize-money as it is in the men’s category.
Earlier, Alex Adewale and Remi Basanya were crowned champions in the wheelchair men and women categories.
Adewale, due for the Netherland where Nigeria will be competing at the World Team Cup from May 25-June 1, beat Jude Uwaize, 6-2, 6-3 while Basanya triumphed over Tosin Dawodu 6-2, 6-4 for the women’s title. The champions got N250, 000 while the finalists got N200, 000.
Source: Daily Trust