13 October 2015, Lagos – For 17 year-old Godsgift Timibra , it was a befitting climax as the top seed, emerged champion of the 2015 NNPC/Chevron Junior Tennis Masters, which ended weekend at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club (LLTC), Onikan.
After five days of action at the National Stadium, Lagos, it was the turn of the LLTC to host the most eagerly anticipated match of the 16th edition of the tournament, which is unarguably the longest-running and most prestigious junior event in the country and after over three and half hours tennis, punctuated by rain break, the heavens finally smiled on the top seed,Timibra as he defeated John Dickson from Kaduna State in three thrilling sets of 6-2, 2-6, 7-6.
It was the sort of finale that tennis faithful had anticipated as the two best junior players in the land were locked in a tight fight for the biggest prize in their category and how well both players justifiably acquitted themselves to the wild applause of the enchanted crowd, who were thrilled with the serves, volleys, rallies, backstrokes and forehand winners that were the hallmark of the engaging game.
Starting as the favourite, top seed, Timibra served off the first set in imperious fashion, fusing some big serves with forehand winners to sweep aside an unsettled Dickson and take first set 6-2. It was such a bullish start as Dickson looked dazed and confused all at the same time, with the high octane start of his rampaging opponent.
Fans saw the expression on his face and thought Timibra was going to deal another hammering on Dickson, who surprisingly, rebounded after the rain break to hand the top seed a dose of his medicine by taking the second set 6-2.
The chants that erupted on the stands of the Lord Rumen’s Centre Court, when Dickson won the second set was deafening as tennis faithful applauded the Kaduna boy for taking the match to the third set. With the sun fading away, the match that started at precisely 4:35pm, was al;ready heading into the night and organisers had to turn on the flood lights for the decider as both players produced perhaps the most exhilarating and dramatic moments even seen in the history of junior tennis in the land.
Astonishingly, both players held serves to 6-6 to take the set in a tie-break, which Timibra eventually took 7-6 and with it all the glory and bragging rights as the 2015 NNPC/Chevron Junior Master.