The absence of the women singles defending champion of the on-going 41st edition of the annual Central Bank of Nigeria Senior Tennis tournament in Abuja, Sarah Adegoke has thrown the title open as a new champion must emerge this year.
Her absence has also created a healthy rivalry among the top female players who have been supercharged for the available crown.
Already tournament’s top seeds Blessing Samuel, Blessing Anuna and seed 2, Christy Agugbom as well as Oyinlomo Quadre, Bukola Olowu have moved to the next stage of the competition.
However, Blessing Samuel and Christy Agugbom who are also doubles partners are tipped to give each other a fierce challenge for the ladies crown.
At the end of matches played yesterday at the Tennis Centre of the MKO Abiola stadium Abuja, CBN junior tennis sensation, Godgift Timibra who is unseeded caused a major upset when he defeated tournament seed 9 Ikechukwu Iloputa 6-4,6-4, to book a quarter final ticket just as six time winner, Abdulmumuni Babalola beat Jebutu Emnanuel 6-1, 6-1 to also advance to the quarter-final.
In other matches, Nonso Madueke outclassed Leo Anthony 6-1, 6-0 while Christian Paul beat Adewale Samson 6-1, 6-3 to pick a quarter-final ticket also.
Tournament too seed, Sylvester Emmanuel stopped Tochukwu Eze, 6-4, 6-2 as men’s singles seed 2 Joseph Imeh edged out John Henry 6-3, 6-3.
All doubles events were postponed till today due to the heavy rain that disrupted activities in the early hours of the day.