FAAN Junior Tennis: Double champ Mofifun shines as Nekepkemi wins big in Lagos
Posted : 13 September 2023
Mofifunoluwa Atilola was the star of the day when the FAAN Tennis Club rounded off the 9th edition of its week-long Junior Tennis Championship in Lagos. The Lagos Lawn Tennis Club player was the cynosure of all eyes as she edged out another fan favourite, Roseline Nana, in both finals of the girls category.
Atilola and her new rival Nana qualified for the finals in two different categories, the U-12 and U-14 categories, after recording amazing results and upsets in the course of the championship, but it was their finale that got guests at the FAAN Tennis Club on their feet the most.
10-year-old Atitlola won 4-2, 2-4, and 12-10 in the U-12 final and returned to inflict a 5-4, 4-2 win over her emotional opponent Nana in the U-14 final.
In other final matches, Joseph Ominiyi produced moments of magic to outplay Samuel Adegbite in the boys U-12 final with a 4-0, 4-2 win, just as Toheed Oseni put up a virtuoso performance to defeat Joseph Ogunyemi 5-3, 4-2 in the boys U-14 final.
Toluwalase Agunbaide was outstanding in her two-set win over Jasmine Osho in the girls' U-16 final. The match ended 6-1, 6-1, as the tennis fans cheered on.
The boys' U-16 final match rounded up a very eventful evening as Michael Nekepkemi and Idris Ajao ensured the tournament ended on a very high note. They both put up a fight and ended the match in a final-set thriller.
Nekepkemi, who starred at the National Youth Games in Ilorin in 2021, ended up with the big win that sealed the match. He won 6-3, 6-7, and 10-7.
On the sidelines of the finals, Mr Joe Ujoh, the FAAN Tennis Club Captain, expressed his excitement at having the kids compete at this level, stating that the quality of the players showed how big the event has become in nine years.
"About 70 kids registered this year; we'd have had more but for the postponements, which eventually clashed with the resumption of some of the players."
"As you can see, the quality of players in this competition has risen; however, we are sure that there is still room for more exposure and to grow tennis in Nigeria," he said. "We are looking at the possibility of trying out other surfaces for the players to compete on different surfaces."
Barrister Oladele Ige, the club's vice captain, also noted that the competition is purely developmental and there are no immediate plans to make it a senior national event despite its growth over the years.
According to him, "It's the baby tournament of FAAN Tennis Club, and we are so glad with the calibre of players who have passed through this event since we started about nine years ago."
The likes of Oyinlomo Quadri and Marylove Edwards have played this tournament in the past, and we can see where they are today. "So, the idea remains to ensure the development of tennis and to catch them young," he said.