Kater Kpum from Benue State, yesterday, caused a major upset in the boys’ U-16 category of the on-going SNEPCo Junior Tennis Masters by beating defending champion of the MTN Junior Tennis League, Mubarak Ganiyu from Oyo State.

The ‘Gboko boy,’ who came very close to beating Seun Ogunsakin, winner of several U-16 titles, in his first round robin match, trailed 5 to 6, but took the wind off the sails of Ganiyu with a solid cross court pass to level scores.

Kpum, with the crowd behind him for that wonderful pass, cruised through to win the match 9 to 6.

“I came to this tournament with the aim of beating either Ogunsakin or Mubarak and I have achieved that,” Kpum told his admirers at the Luik Tennis Recreation Club in Lekki, venue of the tournament.

He will now have to beat Bode Lawal from Lagos in his final round robin match and await the outcome of the match between Ogunsakin and Ganiyu to know if he has a place in the finals.

The tournament, which has seen a high standard, recorded a second upset in the boys’ U-12 category, where Joel Michael, the third seed, upended Murewa Egbeyemi the U-12 champion.

Michael rallied from 0-7 down to take the match to a tie-break at 8-8, which he eventually won.

Egbeyemi will have to beat Chukwudubem Amasiani, who beat his younger brother, Chibuike, 9-0.

The girls’ U-12 is all but decided with Lorelay Holzendoff from Benin City and Ndifreke Benjamin clear favourites to reach the finals.

In the girls’ U-16, Khadijat Mohamed is through to the finals, while Mary Iorlumun from Benue State and Etoro Emmanuel are battling it out for the second spot in the finals.

The SNEPCo Junior Masters, organised by the International Tennis Academy (ITA), is featuring the top three players in the boys and girls U-16s and U-12s categories with wild cards for the U-14s and U-10s champions – boys and girls.

The tournament ends tomorrow with a grand finale starting 12.00 noon.   

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