Marylove Edwards, the 12 year old Nigerian tennis sensation, created history on Friday by becoming the youngest ever player to appear in the final of the Central Bank of Nigeria Senior Tennis Championship.
The junior player, who came into the tournament as a wildcard, set up an epic final scheduled to hold on Saturday (today) against Nigeria No.2, Sarah Adegoke, at the Centre Court of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
Refreshed from one week training at the (IMG) Tennis Academy, Florida, Edwards over-powered tournament No. 3 seed, Blessing Samuel, in a grueling encounter on Friday, which ended 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 and lasted two hours, 50 minutes. Refreshed from one-week training at the (IMG) Tennis Academy, Florida, Edwards over-powered tournament No. 3 seed, Blessing Samuel, in a gruelling encounter on Friday, which ended 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 and lasted two hours, 50 minutes. Edwards had earlier won the CBN Junior Tennis Championship in March. If she wins the final on Saturday it would represent an unprecedented double.
On her way to the final of the senior championships, she defeated 7th seed, Ronke Akingbade, 2-6, 7-5, 6-3, in the round of 16 and Deborah Gbadamosi 6-1, 6-0 in the quarter-final on Thursday.
Her training at the (IMG), which has been an eye-opener, was made possible by her professional handlers, the Temple Management Company, and sponsored by the TY Danjuma Family Office, UK.
While in Florida, veteran tennis coach and (IMG) founder, Nick Bolletieri, described the Nigerian Under 14 tennis champion as a ‘super athlete.’ The 85-year-old has trained 10 tennis world No. 1 including the William sisters Andre Agassi, Monica Seles amongst others.
During a session, Bolletieri singled out Edwards for her unique double-handed style. He described her as “very different, a super athlete very handy only a few can get away with that style.”
She was accompanied to Florida by her mother, Mrs. Omolade Edwards and Mr. Koye Sowemimo, Head of Sports, Temple Management Company.