Kano – Top seed Joseph Imeh on Saturday in Kano beat Sylvester Emmanuel to win his first-ever Dala Hard Court men’s singles title.
Emmanuel retired just before what might have been the final game of the match with Imeh leading 7-6(4), 5-4.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Imeh, before now, had lost in four consecutive national finals.
Both men started the match impressively, playing a very solid game and staying consistent with their serves.
The second set was as evenly-contested as the first, but it was Imeh who got the all-important break and stayed composed to see it through.
The 21-year-old had three championship points while serving at 5-4 before Emmanuel retired due to an injury.
Imeh won N1 million in cash prize, while Emmanuel got N500,000.
In the doubles final, Imeh and Christian Paul came from a set down to beat the duo of Henry Atseye and Nonso Madueke 4-6, 6-3, 11-9.
Blessing Samuel produced a commanding display to beat Sarah Adegoke 6-3, 7-6(4) to successfully defend her Dala Hard Court title.
Adegoke won N300,000 for her effort, while Samuel left with N600,000 in prize money.
Meanwhile, Kano State’s Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje has pledged the state government’s continuous support for the tournament.
Ganduje, who was represented at the tournament’s final matches by his deputy, Nasiru Gawuna, thanked the organisers for successfully hosting the 32nd edition of the championship.
The President of Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF), Ifedayo Akindoju, thanked all those who participated in the tournament for their spirit of sportsmanship.
He also thanked the Kano state government and other stakeholders and sponsors for their support.
Other dignitaries at the finals include Aminu Ado Bayero, a representative of the Emir of Kano, and Ibrahim Galadima, the Chairman of Kano State Sports Commission.