MCDAN OPEN WEST AFRICA REACHES FINAL AS GHANA-NIGERIA RIVALRY IS RENEWED ….
The age-long sporting rivalry between Ghana and Nigeria will be rekindled as the big McDan Open West Africa Championship reaches its final on Saturday July 2 at the Centre court of the Accra Stadium.
The men’s final will see a thriller between Ghana’s Wisdom Na-Adjrago and Michael Moses of Nigeria while Sarah Adegoke, also from Nigeria plays Ghana’s Kate Coleman for the ladies top prize. Ghana’s second seed, Wisdom Na-Adjrago, who traces his origins to the Koforidua Tennis Club in the Eastern Region of Ghana battles Michael Moses of Nigeria in what could have been expected considering the fine form displayed by both players throughout the tournament.
In the semi finals Na-Adjrago exhibited admirable mental strength as he fought through the first set and managed to scale through winning 6-4. This first set battle was staged amidst cheers from a divided home crowd as both Na-Adjrago and Palm are from Osu, the suburb of the Ghana capital Accra, where the Stadium is located. The second set saw an improved performance from Na-Adjrago who utilized his speed and dashes towards the net to place some shots beyond Palm’s reach. The latter was to lose steam only after the second game leaving Na- Adjrago to take over. Spot on service and good smashes which were strong enough to elude Palm resulted in a 6-3 finish.
Michael Moses on the other hand lived up to the pre-semi final talk to send a strong message home when he staged a fight back from a set down to win the best of three against Burkina Faso’s Joel Meda. Nigeria’s top seed Moses who is right-handed started well in the first set with good play in the first two games. But faulty service and other unforced errors handed the points to Burkinabe who had the final in sight at that point. The first set ended 2-6 in favour of Meda. Little did the many fans gathered know that the Nigerian would shake of the jerkiness and move into his true elements. Moses consistently hit shots past Meda with both his right forehand and double back hand, which earned him a 6-2, 6-4 result in the remaining two sets.
Kate Coleman of Ghana will hope for a first Women’s Title at the McDan Open as she clashes with the tough and witty Nigerian fourth seed, Sarah Adegoke.
The ladies semis saw a one sided battle between Ghanaian teenager, Naa McKorley and Nigeria’s Sarah Adegoke. McKorley who has been under the by Ghanaian tennis legend Odartey Annan and Coach Ayi Dartey, fought hard but was unable to break the more experienced Adegoke. The game ended 6-1, 6-1.
Kate Coleman breezed into a second straight final after beating Antionette Cruickshank, 6-4, 6-1.Coleman will be hoping to right the wrongs of last year’s edition where she lost to Francisca Nyarko, who is currently in the US.
The headline sponsor, McDan Shipping together with supporting sponsors, West Blue Consulting , Twellium Industries have combined efforts put up an attractive prize package. for the men it is 1000 us dollars, a big trophy, a full kit and beverages while the ladies champion wins a trophy 800 US dollars a trophy and beverages. All kit components are being provided by Babolat Ghana.
Dignitaries expected to grace the final are Deputy Youth and Sports Minister, Vincent Oppong Asamoah, Minister of Environment Science and Technology, Mahama Ayarigah, Dr Daniel McKorley, Executive Chairman of the McDan Group, Ms Valentina Mintah, CEO of West Blue Consulting, Mohammed Kwawtharani, Managing Director of Twellium Industries, the Chief Executive of the National Sports Authority, Mr Joe Kpenge and Mr Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, Minister of State at the Presidency.
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