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Will Mary-Love Ever Beat McCleod?

Mary-Love Edwards (left) and her rival, Angel McCleod (right), with their trophies after the Junior CBN Open U-16 final in Lagos on Saturday, 25 April, 2015 which McCleod won 9-5

Since last year, when Dubai-based tennis prodigy, Angel McCleod, made her entrant into Nigerian tennis, junior tennis in Nigeria has taken a new shape.
Prior to this period, junior female tennis in Nigeria had been dominated by a certain Mary-Love Edwards, whom many have tipped to shine in the coming years and many more years to come.
Such was her dominance that she was sure to win every junior tennis event in the country.

Ange McCleod receiving her trophy after winning the Girls’ U-16 final match against Mary-Love Edwards at the Junior CBN Open in Lagos last weekend

In fact, at a junior tourney in Kaduna in 2014, a colleague asked her to resign because she had won too many trophies, rackets, shoes and other gift items for her age.
But, when McCleod stepped into the scene, Edwards’ dominance was suddenly cut short, especially in the U-16, where her(Edwards’) nemesis, Zainab Oladimeji held sway before moving to the seniors.
McCleod has since last year, met Edwards in three different finals and has not lost to her friend in all the events.
To make matters worse, Edwards lost to her eternal rival at the finals of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN Junior Open just last week and this has raised eyebrows on whether the talented youngster will ever secure a win against her more exposed counterpart.

Mary-Love Edwards receiving her trophy after losing the Girls’ U-16 final match to Angel McCleod at the Junior CBN Open in Lagos last weekend

The irony of it all is that both players were at a point, under the tutelage of respected tennis-coach, Kayode Savage, who had always been with Edwards before the arrival of McCleod.
Observers believe that both players should be carefully managed and invested in by stakeholders in the game because they represent the future for female tennis in the country.
Others noted that if both players keep playing against each other, they will both get better for it. But, like other rivalries that we have witnessed in world tennis, it is expected that one of these days, Edwards will get one past her more fancied friend.
The question on her coach’s mind would therefore be, “When will my girl defeat McCleod?”

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One comment

  1. These two tennis prodigy are tomorrow's champions in their own class. We should not forget that they both are in their developmental stage of which at this stage we can not predict how far any tennis player can go in the profession.

    If we are to compare the two; have we considered what I always refer to as ENVIRONMENT. These are the mentorship, the finance, the training that McLeod has initially had for about 13 years in her former base – Dubai, before venturing into Nigeria tennis etc.

    What we need to ask should be what is awaiting their tennis career from here? What we need to ask is that is the Federation seeing them? What we need to ask is, are the sponsor's of the tournaments they won noticed and see them as young lady that can help thd b country flag to shine, so they need to be helped?

    What we fail to known is that it seems that others kids in their group are taking up the challenges. Don't be surprised that the in thd b future, other kids that we refuse to open pages for will turn the table around.
    What we fail to know is that there is still a player that has won these two young lads when they met who happens to be Barakat Quadre, who at her young age has conquered Africa.
    My initial observations in respect of Mary – love and McLeod tennis future also go to Barakat tennis future.

    In summary, all my "so long a comment" is
    These young champions and the ones that are coming? Won't their fate be like the ones who were there before them?

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