Teenage sensation Oyinlomo Quadre will carry the hopes of an entire nation when she contests the quarterfinals of the second leg of the Lagos Open at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club on Friday.
The 16-year-old wild card who eased into a first-ever ITF World Tour quarterfinal when eighth seed Tamara Curovic retired while trailing 6-2, 1-0, is looking to become Nigeria’s first singles winner and the first Nigerian to win in any category since the duo of Jonathan Igbinovia and Abdulmumin Babalola combined to win the men’s doubles title in 2005 and 2007.
Quadre, however, faces a formidable test in actualising her dreams with second-seed Valeriya Strakhova of Ukraine up next in the quarterfinal.
The Ukranian was brutal in dismantling Jasmine Jebawy 6-1, 6-0 in 61 minutes and would surely offer the Nigerian a stern examination in Friday’s quarterfinal.
Elsewhere, Nigeria’s other representative Blessing Samuel was swatted aside 6-0, 6-1 by Laura Pigossi of Brazil, who’s seeking to go one better this week after finishing as a runner-up in the first leg.
Next for the Brazilan is Nastja Kolar, who recovered from losing the first set to knock out last week’s champion and Africa’s top-ranked junior player, Sada Nahimana of Burundi, 1-6, 6-2, 7-5 in 2 hours.
Women’s top seed, Seone Mendez advanced to the quarterfinals with a straightforward 6-2, 6-4 victory over Lexie Stevens. She will take on India’s Riya Bhatia, who beat Isabella Kruger 7-5, 6-4.
Third seed, Sandra Samir of Egypt dispatched Russia’s Nika Kukharchuk 6-4, 6-2, to set up a quarter-final tie with fifth seed, Rutuja Bhosale who dismissed fellow Indian, Sowjanya Bavisetti 6-1, 6-1.
In the men’s draw, Frenchman Calvin Hemery, fresh from last week’s triumph in the first leg, eased into the quarterfinals of the second leg on Thursday, following an easy 6-0, 6-1 victory over Courtney Lock of Zimbabwe.
Hemery, who’s of Nigerian descent and is yet to lose a set in seven matches since the start of the competition, faces yet another Lock in the quarterfinals – second-seed Benjamin Lock who beat India’s Dhruv Sunish 6-2, 6-0 victory on Thursday.
Elsewhere, France’s Gianni Mina avenged his firstround loss to tournament’s top seed, Skander Mansouri in the first leg with a 7-6, 6-2 victory over the Tunisian top seed.
Mina next plays Takanyi Garanganga in Friday’s quarterfinal. Garanganga was impressive in defeating Michael-John Every of Curacao, winning 6-2, 6-3.
Aldin Setkic the 2015 champion and runnerup in last week’s final, dismissed Tristan Meraut 6-2, 6-0 to ease into the quarterfinal where he will face David Pichler in a repeat their semifinal clash last week, which Setkic won in three sets.
Third-seed Aziz Dougaz beat Thomas Setdoji of France 6-3, 6-2 to set up a quarterfinal date with unseeded compatriot, Aziz Ouakaa, who claimed a 6-2, 6-4 victory over American William Bushamuka.