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Ovtcharov, Akula win singles titles at WTT Contender Lagos

German tennis star Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Indian player Sreeja Akula won the 2024 WTT Contender Lagos men’s and women’s singles titles respectively at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Indoor Sports Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium on Sunday.

Champions were crowned in the women’s singles, men’s Singles, women’s doubles, and men’s doubles categories at the tournament held in the economic hub of Nigeria/

In the women’s singles, Akula and Ding Yijie of China faced off in their first WTT series singles final appearance.

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Akula, with two WTT feeder series titles to her name, and Ding, a rising star with four WTT youth series titles, battled fiercely for the champion title.

Akula’s remarkable journey to the final saw her save three match points in the semifinals, demonstrating her resilience and determination.

Ding, making her WTT series debut, aimed to become the lowest-ranked player to win a WTT series women’s singles title.

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Akula, however, won the encounter 4-1 (10-12, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6), adding another trophy to her growing legacy, after claiming the women’s doubles.

The men’s singles final featured an all-German clash between Ovtcharov and Ricardo Walther.

Ovtcharov, a seasoned competitor and 2023 finalist, was determined to claim his first WTT series singles title since 2021.

Walther

Although Walther, making his first appearance at WTT Contender Lagos, sought to make his mark with a victory, Ovtcharov triumphed over him 4-1 (11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 12-10, 11-6), securing his second WTT series singles title.

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In the women’s doubles final, Akula and another Indian player Archana Girish Kamath squared off against compatriots Yashaswini Ghorpade and Diya Parag Chitale. Both pairs showcased exceptional teamwork and skill, but it was Akula and Kamath who clinched the title with a 3-0 victory (11-9, 11-6, 12-10) in their first international final together.

The men’s doubles final between the Nigerian pair of Azeez Solanke and Olajide Omotayo and the Indian duo of Harmeet Desai and Manav Vikash Thakkar was intense. Solanke and Omotayo, playing together for the second time in an international event, faced the experienced pair of Desai and Thakkar, who have been playing together since 2016.

Desai and Thakkar came out on top with a 3-0 win (11-8, 11-9, 11-8), marking their first men’s doubles title as a duo.

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