• Adeleye, Ekpenyong Triumph In Accra, Abidjan
In the latest national rankings released by the Nigerian Tennis Federation (NTF), at the weekend, Uche Oparaoji from Imo State is Nigeria’s number one male player, with a total of 485 cumulative points going into the national hard court swing.
Oparaoji, who won the Dala and Rainoil national events last season, sits atop the national rankings for the first time since he burst onto the national scene with exceptional performances.
The southpaw player goes into this week as the undisputed number one star and the player to beat as the national competitions serve off in Abuja. Biting at his heels is Henry Atseye, ranked second with a total of 470 points.
Atseye needs a great outing in Abuja to unseat Oparaoji and move to the top of the rankings. On the women’s side, Marylove Edwards returned to the summit of the rankings after falling off for a while due to some poor results from competitions. She sits comfortably atop the ranking table with 960 points, while her closest rival, Ayegbusi Aanu, is almost 200 points lower.
The former US-based youngster will be the cynosure of all eyes when the tournaments serve off this week in Abuja.
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Daniel Adeleye won big in Accra, Ghana, where he picked up the boys singles title in the ITF J30 event. He is currently ranked in the top 10 of Nigerian players on the ITF Rankings and is sure to move further up after this victory.
David Ekpenyong proved he is no fluke at the weekend, winning the ITF J60 Abidjan event in fine style. Ranked 315 in the world, he is the highest placed Nigerian junior in the world and will surely move within reach of the top 200.
For the latest Confederation of African Tennis (CAT) rankings for 14 and under girls, 13-year-old Emmanuel Bright Essien is the highest ranked player, coming in at no 16 with a total of 1060 points. Khadijat Mohammed sits just outside the top 20, with a total of 682 accumulative points.
For the boys, 14-year-old Seun Ogunsakin is still holding on tightly to his number one rank with a whooping 5485 cumulative points. The next Nigerian, 13-year-old David Edwards, sits well outside the top 50 with 201 points.