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Sarah, Setodji show class in 2017 McDan Open

BY: Kweku Zurek

Sarah Adegoke and Thomas Setodji last Saturday justified their reputation as the top-ranked players by claiming the top honours in the men's and women's divisions respectively of the McDan West African Open Championship at the Accra Sports Stadium.

Togolese debutant Setodji posted an emphatic 6-2, 6-1 victory over his Beninois counterpart, Felix Hounkpevi, to win the all-Francophone men's final, while defending women's champion Adegoke defeated youngster Angel McCleod 6-4, 6-3 in an all-Nigerian final.

She became the second player to win back-to-back McDan Open titles to equal the record set in 2014 and 2015 by Ghanaian Francisca Nyarko.

In the end, the muscular Adegoke, 19, showed no mercy as her powerful game decided the tough encounter against her close pal, McCleod, who is three years younger.

The men's final was a fascinating clash of styles which saw Togolese Setodji's aggressive baseline game prevail 6-2, 6-1 over Beninois Hounkpevi's serve-and-volley approach in a one-sided final. It was Setodji's third triumph in three games against Hounkpevi.

A victorious Setodji told the Graphic Sports in an interview that he would present the McDan Open trophy to his mother as a birthday gift.

"What can I say about my Ghanaian fans, they have been wonderful to me, even though most of them don't know my Grandmother is a Ghanaian," Setodji said.

"I started this competition well, had a difficult second match but since then I have done well. I am glad I didn't disappoint my fans and my family as well.

"Tomorrow (Sunday) is my mother's birthday, so the trophy will make her very happy when I present it to her," the France-based player stated.

As their reward, Setodji and Adegoke received $3,000 and $1,000 winner’s prizes respectively, in addition to silver trophies and products from the supporting sponsors Twellium Industries, COCOBOD, GNPC and Babolat.

The two final games were played at the Frank Ofori centre court before a packed crowd, including dignitaries such as the Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Asiamah; a Deputy Minister of Communications, Nenyi George Andah; Ghana Olympic Committee president, Ben Nunoo Mensah, and the CEO of the McDan Group of Companies, Dr Daniel McKorley.