Seventeen-year-old Samuel Antwi last Friday lifted his first National Ranking Tour Five title after two attempts by defeating Japheth Bagerbaseh 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 at the Tennis Arena of the Accra Sports Stadium.
On his way to winning the final on Friday, Antwi beat Joseph Hammond 6-1, 6-1 in the opening game, Benjamin Fumi (6-2, 6-3), Francis Akpese (6-2, 5-2) and claimed a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Bernard Ashitey Armaah in the semi-finals.
According to the organisers, it was the first time that two unseeded players have met in the final of the competition.
The game, which attracted a sizable crowd, saw Antwi, a student of the Koforidua Technical University in the Eastern Region, playing an aggressive game, returning most of the balls back to his opponent who found it difficult to hit the backhand regularly.
“I have played a match with Jeff once so I know he is a single backhand player and I am a double backhand player so that helped me to put more pressure on him.
He [Jeff] is experienced but I am young so I used my strength a lot to return all the balls to him. At a point I realised he was tired and that worked for me. But he is a good player because he also beat other top players to get to the final,” said an elated Antwi in an interview.
For his reward, Antwi, who trains at the Atomic Tennis Club under the tutelage of Victor Akwetey Murphy and Andrews Adu Appiah, took home a giant trophy and an undisclosed financial reward.
It was the first time that two unseeded players clashed in the final of the year-round tournament organised by the Ghana Tennis Federation (GTF) and sponsored by the Tennis Foundation Ghana (TFG), an NGO.
The next competition will be held in November.