Nyarko opens defence in style

Defending champions, Francisca Nyarko opened her defence at the second edition of the McDan Shipping tennis tournament at the Accra Sports Stadium with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Stella Essilfie on Tuesday.

Nyarko who stayed dominant, breaking Essilfie thrice in the first set proved her mettle through every stroke and serve at the annual championship that has drawn over 80 participants.

Nyarko’s victory means a quarter final berths for her and seven other winners on the opening day of the ladies category of the competition.

In other games, Annet Cruidshank made light work of Gifty Arhinful with a 6-0, 6-0 victory that lasted a little over 30 minutes in a fixture that looked a mismatch.

Faustina Tagoe also qualified for the last eight after defeating Pearl Mensah in a straight set, 6-1,6-1 while Kate Coleman proved superior in her fixture with Sheila Essilfie, winning 6-0 in the first set before the later scratched the game while down 0-5.

Elsewhere, Naa McKorley beat Amelia Dodoo 6-1, 6-1. Grace Tormegah was a 6-1,6-1 winner over Nathacia Yalley while Abena Oti- Akenteng defeated Portia Adukwei 6-0, 6-0 with Mariam Blepo gaining a walk-over Alabo Farida Dzifa to complete the day.

In the men’s category, number seed George Darko had to dig deep to defeat Benjiman Palm 6-3, 6-1 to book a place in the second round of the competition.

Darko, whose game is hinged on his powerful serve, bullied his opponent to hold all but one of his serves and break the petit Palm at crucial moments as both staged a thriller first set on the center court in the final game of the day.

Palm appeared to have restored any hope of winning the second set to push the game into a third set by winning his opening serve an incredible class.

However, Darko recovered to break Darko twice and hang on to his serves to wrap up the second set 6-1, largely depending of strong returns in-between a few rallies.

Darko joins seven other winners on the day as the competition enters the second round for the men at the Stadium on Wednesday. GNA

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