Em­manuel, Ndanusa sure of Davis Cup pro­mo­tion

Daily Trust - - SPORT - By Orkula Shaagee

@shagcy The star player of the Nige­rian team to the just-con­cluded Davis Cup Africa Group III, Sun­day Em­manuel is con­fi­dent Nige­ria will get pro­moted to the next stage of the com­pe­ti­tion next year.

The 18-year-old, who is the youngest mem­ber of the team, also ex­pressed de­light at mak­ing his de­but at the Davis Cup, adding he is poised to help Nige­ria to a more re­ward­ing out­ing in sub­se­quent years.

“I’m happy to play in the Davis Cup be­cause it is part of my dream as a ten­nis player. I was very hope­ful that we will get pro­mo­tion be­cause we have a very strong team. Some of us also played some tour­na­ments like the Tom­bim Open, Dayak Cham­pi­onship and the CBN Open which all served as prepa­ra­tions.

“With the ex­pe­ri­ence I got this year, I’m look­ing for­ward to next year and I be­lieve we will make it next time,” Em­manuel stated.

NTF Pres­i­dent, Engr. Sani Ndanusa, in his re­ac­tion com­mended the team, declar­ing that Nige­ria stands a good chance of get­ting pro­mo­tion to the world group in the next few years par­tic­u­larly due to the prom­ises shown by the young play­ers that de­buted.

“Go­ing by the per­for­mances of the two new play­ers Em­manuel and Michael who played the sin­gles matches, we are very sure that in some few years from now, we will not only move to Group II but get to the world group which has al­ways been our ul­ti­mate tar­get,” Ndanusa de­clared as he also com­mended Lawal and Ba­balola both with a com­bine 24 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the Davis Cup.

Nige­ria rounded off the tour­na­ment with an im­pres­sive 2-1 win over Kenya on Satur­day to place 5th in the ten-na­tion tour­na­ment held in Mada­gas­car.

Led by play­ing cap­tain Shehu Lawal, Nige­ria’s un­do­ing was its slow start to the tour­na­ment los­ing 2-1 to Namibia which was fol­lowed by an­other 2-1 de­feat by Morocco.

The team puts up a coura­geous dis­play to beat Camer­oun 3-0 and de­spite an­other 3-0 tri­umph over Mozam­bique, the team missed out of the top two po­si­tion that would have seen them bat­tle for a pro­mo­tion tie.

Sun­day Em­manuel was the star player of the Nige­rian team which was com­pleted by the duo of Moses Michael and Ab­dul­mu­min Ba­balola.

Em­manuel won four and lost one of his sin­gles matches to bet­ter that of Moses 2-3 record while Lawal and Ba­balola have a 4-1 record in the dou­bles.

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