Accra, March 8, GNA - Most of the seeded players in this year's Areeba Open Tournament which opened on Wednesday, made it safely through the first and second rounds without much sweat.
The tournament, which is in its second season, is open to players from West African countries and sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
Even though most of the top seeds in the competition drew byes in the first round played earlier in the day, some of them were given stern tests in the second round but their experience at the end of the day pushed them through into the third round. The tournament's number one seed, Douda Ndaye from Senegal who had won all three ITF circuit events, already held in Nigeria, Benin and Senegal was given a very tough time by Saraphane Lamboni at the centre court of the Accra Tennis Club, the venue of the competition as a result of the renovation works currently underway at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium.
Ndaye who at the beginning found it difficult adapting from the fast hard courts to a much slower clay court on which he won all three previous tournaments in the circuit committed a lot of unforced errors at the beginning.
However when he regained his rhythm, the tournament's top seed was a delight to watch as he wore down Lamboni with his powerful ground strokes.
In an encounter, which lasted one hour 17 minutes, Ndaye broke twice in the first set to comfortably win 6-2.
The second set was a much closer event as Lamboni resisted till the seventh game when he was broken to concede the second set 6-4. Ndaye would next play Owusu Ansah who was ruthless in his first round encounter beating Marcus Addy 6-0, 6-1 before following up with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Zabrina Lonfo in the second round. Owusu Manford, last year's number one seed but currently ranked third was the most fortunate among the seeded players as he progressed into the third round without hitting a ball.
Manford drew a bye in the first round and just before his second round match with Matthias Nunoo, his opponent unceremoniously left the court during warm up to engage in a fight with a fan, prompting the referee to disqualify him.
Albert Authur, ranked fourth and the finalist in last year's event, made a smooth passage into the third round after beating Theophilus Atiso 6-2, 6-4 in the second round after also drawing a bye in the first round.
Eighth ranked Robert Kpodo who also drew a bye in the first round beat Sadiq Zakaria in two straight sets 6-4, 6-2 to book a date with Eric Dowona who had earlier upset ninth seeded Majid Hamoui 7-5, 6-4 in the second round.
Unseeded Dowona made it to the second round after disposing off Eric Natey 6-3, 6-2 in the first round.
Fred Egyir, a member of the Ghana Davis Cup team who is ranked 11th for the tournament had it tough against Theophilus Segodo but at the end he came through in two straight sets 6-3, 6-4.
In the ladies event which had only 15 entries, top seed Kate Coleman was given a bye into the second round and she is scheduled to meet the winner of the Linda Parkker and Ibrahim Mariama match. In other first round matches cleared, Odoi Agelematu beat Marie Richard of Guinea 6-1, 6-2 to book a date with number two seed Mayou Sedietou who also drew a bye in the first round.
The tournament continues on Thursday with the third round matches. The winner of the men's single event will receive an amount of 750 dollars with the runner up taking home 500 dollars whilst the winner of the ladies event will receive 500 dollars with the second placed player taking 300 dollars for her effort.
Semi-finalists in the men's category will share 400 dollars whilst each quarter-finalist receives an amount of 140 dollars each. Ladies who reach the semi-finals will take home 150 dollars each whilst quarter finalist will share 400 dollars. In the men's double event, the winners will receive 500 dollars while the losing finalist will take home 300 dollars whilst in the ladies event, the winners take home 300 dollars with the runners up taking 200 dollars. 08 March 06