Dubem Amasiani at the weekend in Lagos won the Boys 12s and 14s titles at the Sapetro Futures Tennis Championship to fuel hopes of a future world class tennis star for Nigeria.
The competition at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan, featured singles events in boys and girls’ 12s, 14s and 16s with the top two seeds in the lower age groups given wild cards into the next age group to fast track their progress.
The 12-year-old tennis talent being guided by his mother, Judith, achieved a similar feat three weeks ago in Bayelsa State, where he also won the Boys 12s and 14s at the SNEPCo Junior Invitational Masters.
Amasiani brushed aside his younger brother, Ikem, 9-1 in the Boys 12s and then out-rallied a former 14 and under champion, Onyekachi Ogumjiofor from Oyo State, 9 – 4.
According to director of International Tennis Academy (ITA), organisers of the ITA Junior Circuit, Godwin Kienka, “Dubem is a real-world class tennis star loading. He is pretty much in the mould of Alcaraz and if he stays focused and gets the right guidance and support, which I am sure he would get, it will be only a matter of time.
“To put the significance of Dubem’s victory in perspective, Gbolahan Olawale that he beat in the Boys’ 14 in Yenagoa was moved to the Boys’ 16 in this tournament and defeated the defending Boys’ 16 champion, Henry Aina, in the final,” Kienka said.
Other winners in the weeklong tournament were Logolay Holzendoff from Benin City, who defeated Gloria Samuel from Ekiti 9-4 in the Girls’ 14s and Mufu Atilola, who again bested her rival, Roseline Nana, 9 – 5 in the Girls’ 12s singles.
The grand finale was attended by several former national champions, including 1990 champion and international coach, Gabriel Out, who said the junior players he saw “have better skills and are much smarter players than we were … including (Nduka) Odizor, who reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon in 1983s.”