General News of Tuesday, 25 September 2018
Benin’s Sylvester Mannou and Nigeria’s Barakat Oyinlomo Quade, last Saturday, justified their reputation as the top-ranked players by claiming the top honours in the boy’s and girl’s divisions respectively at the just ended ITF 18 and under World Junior Circuit at the Accra Sports Stadium Tennis Courts
Mannou earlier defeated Paul Wamba Ngouadjio from Cameroon 6-1,7-5 in the quarter-finals and Ghana’s Johnson Acquah 6-1, 6-3 In the semi-final before beating Ivorian, Coulibaly Frederic, in two straight sets: 6-3,6-4. The final match lasted 1hr 30mins. Both players displayed beautiful tennis skills for the fans and dignitaries gathered.
After his win, Mannou said “My victory was the result of hard work and perseverance”. He added that “It was not an easy game, especially when you are playing away from home in a final”.
“When Coulibaly went up 3-1 in first set, I talked to myself several times and immediately remembered the target I set for myself which is to win the ultimate Prize and I thank God I came out victorious”.
In the second set Mannou held his nerve better on the big points and fully deserved the victory. He sealed it with one of the best serves in the game, calm yet punishing two-fisted backhand that steadily dismantled Coulibaly’s defensive game, as well as a delightful array of forehand winners.
In an interview with Frederic Couibaly after the match, he told ghanatennis.org “My best was not enough. I lost concentration in the first set when I was leading 3-1. Mannou came back strongly and broke my serve to win 6-3. He added that “I made some mistakes that I have learnt from”.
In the girl’s final, Nigeria’s Barakat Oyinlomo Quadre defeated Egypt’s Ezzat Yasmin 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. Barakat told ghanatennis.org that “I am happy to come out a winner outside my country. It is a good feeling of accomplishment and at first, when I started playing in the first and second round; I thought I will not last beyond the second round because there were good players who gave me worries. But here I am standing victorious”. She added that “I will be back to defend my title”.
In the Boy’s Doubles events, Prince Abayomi Oluseyi from Nigeria and Malope Lethabo from South Africa ousted Ghana’s Benjamin Palm and Ronald Totimeh 6-4,4-6,10-8. And in the girls doubles, Yasmin Ezzat from Eygpt and Bhasin Smriti partnered to surpass Cameroon’s Linda Claire Eloundou Nga and her sister, Manuella Peguy Eloundou Nga 6-4, 7-6(6).
The tournament was organized by Tennis Foundation Ghana under the auspices of Ghana Tennis Federation with support from Mcdan Group, Hollard Insurance and Coconut Grove Hotel.