Emmanuel gets doctors’ nod to play in NCC Tennis League semifinals
Lead player of defending champions, Team Offikwu, Sylvester Emmanuel has been given the “all clear” by his doctors to play in the semifinal tie against Team Civil Defence in Abuja this weekend.
Emmanuel, the leading tennis professional in Nigeria, went under the surgeons’ knife for appendicitis two days to the start of the Lagos Governor’s Cup after spending three months training and competing in Spain.
“I am fine now and the doctors have given me the ‘go ahead’. I have been working on my fitness and will play an invitational tournament in Benin Republic this week to prepare for the tie.
“We really want to defend our title but the semifinals against Abdulmumuni Babalola, Clifford Enosoregbe and Christie Agugbom will be tough,” Emmanuel said.
Team Offikwu also has a formidable team that includes former national champions, Henry Atseye and Shehu Lawal, as well as Sarah Adegoke, the 2017 CBN Seniors champion.
“The tie is full of very promising matchups – Agugbom versus Adegoke, Emmanuel versus Enosoregbe, Babalola versus Shehu or in-form Chris Bulus with doubles and mixed doubles combinations. The men play two reverse singles on Sunday followed by the usually decisive mixed doubles,” Director of the International Tennis Academy, coordinators of the league, Godwin Kienka, said.
He added: “I would have gladly paid my way to Abuja to watch this tie if I was not involved.”
Kienka, who saw tennis at the highest level working for the ATP and the ITF, said the tie would be two days of the best tennis that is possible in Nigeria, saying with so much at stake, it will get really intensive with a lot of emotion over the two days.
The winners of the Abuja semifinal tie will meet Team Muller of Lagos, who overran Team Ndoma-Egba in the first semifinals played at the Enugu Sports Club two weeks ago.
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