CBN Tennis Championship: Godsgift ends Philip’s fairytale run

 Abayomi Philip’s fairytale run at the CBN Senior Open Tennis Championship came to an abrupt end when he suffered a round of 16 elimination.

Philip suffered elimination in the hands of Timibra Godsgift in the men’s singles event on Friday in Abuja.

Philip, who got a shot at the main draw through the qualifiers, had been impressive from the first round on Tuesday where he pulled up an upset after knocking out the tournament’s sixth seed, Sylvanus Ajang.

The young prodigy was at it again in the second round after creating yet another upset by beating the more superior Opeyemi Odeyemi in two straight sets 6-3, 6-1 to set up a showdown with Timibra Godsgift in the round of 16.

Philip, whose fairytale run from the qualifiers to the round of 16 lit up the tournament, fought hard but tired, hitting 18 unforced errors, including seven double faults.

Godsgift, who is the tournament’s number fifth seed played with all the tenacity, cool and determined in a combative opening frame as he ensured that he didn’t fall prey to the young giant killer.

His winners kept flowing as he went about his business and kept his cool to brush aside Abayomi in two straight sets 6-1, 6-4 and set up a quarter-finals showdown with tournament’s number four seed Uche Oparaoji.

“It was a good one and kudos to Philip who tested my resolve, but I was able to calm my nerves and soak all the pressure, especially in the second set.

“Now, I am fired up for the quarter-finals even though I am aware that my opponent will be a much harder nut to crack.

“But I am up for the challenge,’’ Godsgift said after the match.

Results of other round of 16 matches in the men’s singles event also played today (Friday) saw tournament’s number one seed Joseph Imeh advance to the quarter-finals after number 13 seed Clifford Enosoregbe was forced to retire at 5-0 in the first set.

Imeh will now meet number seven seed Chinma Michael in the quarter-finals after the latter walloped Peter Lawal in two straight sets 6-0, 6-2.

Also, tournament’s number three seed Nonso Madueke defeated Ojo Oyelami 2-0 (6-4, 6-1) to set up a quarter-finals battle with Ikechukwu Iloputa, who had earlier beaten Wilson Igbinovia in two straight sets 6-1, 7-6 (3).

Thomas Otu came back from a set down to beat Lawal Shehu 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 to earn him a well-deserved quarter-finals berth against tournament’s number two Musa Mohammed who had also earlier come back from a set down to beat Henry Atseye 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the championship which began on Monday is expected to end on Saturday. (NAN)