Nigeria’s number one ranked player, Sylvester Emmanuel, Monday failed in his bid to feature in the main draw of the Dayak Championship following a 6-4, 6-3 defeat to Swede Marcus Schultz in the first qualifying round.
Sylvester was Nigeria’s best performer in the Nigeria Futures 1 Tombim Open where he reached the second round only to bow to Zimbabwean Benjamin Lock but despite the backing by the home crowd, he was unable to withstand the aggressive play of his European opponent at the National Tennis Centre, Abuja..
His compatriot, Joseph Imeh clinched a place in the final qualifier with a 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Emmanuel Idoko and was billed to face William Bushamuka of the USA in the final qualifying round ahead of the main draw which will begin on Tuesday.
American Luke Gamble and Czech’s Dominik Palan secured their places in the main draw with a 6-4, 6-4 and 6-3, 7-6 win over Li-Wei Tan of Chinese Taipei and Hugo Largo of Spain.
The Dayak Championship which is Nigeria’s Futures 2, is bankrolled by Nigeria Tennis Federation President, Dayo Akindoju, and is expected to be fiercely-contested with the confirmation of British youngster, Jack Drapper for the week-long event.