Mohammed hopeful of good outing as Nigerian juniors leave for African Masters in Morocco
Mohammed told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna that the Nigerian duo of Michael Osewa and Barakat Quadri were in top shape and were ready to distinguish themselves.
NAN reports that Mohammed and the players were scheduled to leave Abuja on Sunday for Casablanca in Morocco for the Masters for 14 and Under.
The event is for the top eight players in that category, after Osewa was ranked eighth in the male category and Quadri sixth in the female category.
“They both qualified based on performances in tournaments sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), which were played during the year.
“Based on this, I expect a good performance from both players, especially as they are both number one in West and Central Africa and are by this among the best on the continent,’’ Mohammed said.
The coach who is leading the team to the event said both players were well primed to put in good performances at the event based on their current form.
“Osewa placed fourth at the recent African Junior Championship in Tunisia, and Quadri was also fifth in her category.
“So, they are experienced and exposed enough to do well, especially as this is not their first outing,’’ he said.
Mohammed said he was particularly hopeful that Quadri, who is based in Morocco on a one-year ITF full scholarship, would fully utilise
the opportunity of the event.
“She can use this event to boost her profile, and as long as she plays well she can be there until she finishes her junior career.
“It is also an opportunity for Osewa too, because they can both utilise this advantage to bolster their career in the game and gain many other opportunities.
“For example, the first three players at the event will get ITF grants to be able to play in their 18 and Under tournaments in their region.
“There are also many other scholarship opportunities that can be available to them as long as they perform well in Morocco,’’ he said.
The coach recalled that the last time Nigerian players were at the 14 and Under Masters was in 2012, when Sarah Adegoke, Emmanuel Idoko and Joseph Imeh qualified.
“Adegoke and Idoko were first in their respective categories, while Imeh was third in the male category.
“I am now hopeful that Osewa and Quadri will emulate these ones with good and, in fact, better performances,’’ he said.
NAN reports that the competition holds from Tuesday to Sunday, Nov. 8.