12.03.2006 Sports News

Ndaye blows away the opposition in Areeba

12.03.2006 LISTEN

Accra, March 12, GNA - Douda Ndaye, the Senegalese number one seed of this year's second Areeba Tennis Open, who appeared to be playing on a different plain from his other competitors, easily disposed off his Togolese challenger, Milapa Akomlo 6-3, 6-0 in the finals to pocket the 750 dollars prize money at stake.

The win is Ndaye's fourth in succession in as many weeks after winning similar competitions in Dakar, Bamako and Ougadougu. Ndaye, a member of the Senegalese Davis Cup team, who did not drop a set all week, dominated from the start with his powerful precision ground strokes, which constantly kept his opponent on the back foot.

It came as no surprise, when Ndaye broke the serve of the Togolese in the second game of the first set.

Armed with ferocious power in his forehand, the giant framed Senegalese attacked Akomlo's serve and took a two break point lead, which he held on to take a 2-0 lead.

From then on, Akomlo, not prepared to go down without a fight, put up a stiff fight using some cleaver passing shots anytime the Senegalese attacked the net to the admiration of the crowd who all urged him on to prevent a one-sided encounter.

But the damage had already been done in the second game as the Senegalese held onto the break to win the first set 6-3. The second set of the best of three sets encounter started with some hope that the Togolese was going to build on the momentum from the first set to give Ndaye a stiffer fight.

But all hopes faded quickly as Ndaye turned on the heat in the second set, running rout from the very first game when he broke the serve the Akomlo.

The fillip from the break propelled Ndaye to another level as he pounded Akomlo with powerful returns, which wore him out very quickly in the searing heat of the centre court clay at the Accra Tennis Club.

Ndaye finally completed the rout in an emphatic fashion when he won the second set 6-0.

In the ladies final, Ghana's Abigail Mensah failed to reward the vociferous support given her with a win, when she allowed Togolese Sadietou Mayou to fight back from a set down to eventually win 5-7, 6-1, 6-4.

Abigail who came into the finals, riding on a back wave of a huge upset win in the semi-finals where she knocked out tournament's number one seed, Kate Coleman in the semi finals, played a very cautious game from the start choosing to remain on the baseline and waited for her more aggressive opponent to commit errors.

Her game plan paid off as she broke the serve of the left handed Mayou, tournaments number two seed, in the 11th game and held her own to win the first set 7-5.

But any hope of an upset quickly fizzled out in the second set when Mayou came back with vengeance as she broke Abigail twice to win the second set 6-1 to push the game into the third and deciding set. Mayou took an early advantage when she broke Abigail's serve in the very second game of the third set.

But cheered on by the partisan crowd, Abigail, who appeared a bit laid-back fought hard in the fifth game to break back. Surprisingly Abigail handed the advantage back to the Togolese in the very next game as her high ball were countered effectively by the powerful forehand of Mayou. The game from then on went with serve to earn Mayou a deserved 6-3 win. For her prize money, Mayou took home 500 dollars, whilst Abigail took 300 dollars for her effort. 12 March. 06

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