Tennis: Sarah, Setodji win McDan Open

BY: Kweku Zurek
 Thomas Setodji winner of McDan Open 2017
Thomas Setodji winner of McDan Open 2017

Top seed Thomas Setodji won his maiden McDan West African Open Championship men's trophy while Sarah Adegoke successfully defended the women's title to complete a clean sweep for foreign tennis players on Saturday at the Accra Sports Stadium.

Indeed, so strong was the foreign contingent at this year's edition that no Ghanaian tennis player was able to qualify for the respective finals.

The all Francophone men's final  saw Togolese Setodji winning with 6-2, 6-1 over Beninois Felix Hounkpe vi in a one-sided match.

Setodji made a bright start after serving to start the game and raced into a 1-0 lead but Hounkpevi battled back and both held serve to make the tie 2-2.  Thereafter, it was smooth sailing for Setodji who went on a four-game winning run to close the first set.

So confident was fan-favourite Setodji of victory that after racing into a 5-0 lead in the second set, he had the luxury of pulling out his smartphone to photograph his vociferous fans who cheered him on after every point.

However, Hounkpevi brought a measure of respect to the final score by winning the penultimate game to make the score 5-1 before Setodji lobbed him expertly at the net to close the second set 6-1.

Defending women's champion Adegoke defeated youngster Angel McCleod in an all-Nigerian women's final to become the second player to win back-to-back McDan Open titles after Ghanaian Francisca Nyarko first chalked up that feat in 2014 and 2015.

The two close friends were dressed in a similar green strip for their game but that was where their similarities ended, as Adegoke's strength saw her emerge victorious 6-4, 6-3 over her 16-year-old compatriot.

For their reward, the two champions Setodji and Adegoke received $3,000 and $1,000 respectively as cash prizes in addition to silver trophies and products from the supporting sponsors, including Twellium Industries, COCOBOD, GNPC and Babolat.