05.08.2002 Sports News

N'Goran retains ITF title in Accra

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Claude N'Goran won the Third Leg International Tennis Federation (ITF) Men's West Africa Satellite Tournament with 6-4, 6-3 victory over fellow Ivorian Valentine Sanon at the centre court of the Accra Sports Stadium Tennis Court on Saturday.

The win, N'Goran's second successive victory in the three legged tournament came at the expense of young Sanon who, even though showed great potential, was no match for his vastly experienced compatriot.

N'Goran, who was once ranked 198 in the world was sidelined by illness for three years but managed to make a great comeback with his second successive victory. He survived an early scare in the first game when Sanon broke him after racing into a two break point advantage, which came as a result of two double faults.

But the third seed N'Goran brought his experience to bear as he settled into his serve and volley game and kept Sanon on the run for the remainder of the games with powerful ground strokes.

The dominance of N'Goran became evident as the game progressed as he put more pressure on the serve of Sanon and broke back in the sixth game after some very impressive covering work at the net.

N'Goran then went on the offensive as he attacked the net to a very good effect at the least opportunity winning with some impressive drops that drew applause even from his opponent.

The third seed finished off the first set when Sanon serving in the 10th game double faulted to concede the set. Sanon who has been on the run for most part of the game started feeling the effect and had to call for some medical aid.

The second set started badly for Sanon as he was broken in the second game and again in the fourth, as he could not find space to pass N'Goran's huge frame that covered every part of the net when he moved forward.

Sanon, even though beaten, was not disgraced in the least as he showed great potential for the future with his powerful ground strokes which caught N'Goran napping many times.

The tournament continued yesterday with the Masters programme which will involve the best 24 players after the three legged circuit event.

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