14-Year-Old Nigerian Wins US Under 14 Championship, Few Weeks After Moving To IMG
Nigerian Tennis Prodigy, Marylove Edwards opened her first US account on a winning note by dispatching her opponents with ease to win the USTA Celsius Level 6 girls’ 14 & Under tournament.
This she achieved barely 20 days after moving to the world renowned, IMG Tennis Academy founded by veteran tennis coach, Nick Bolletieri in Bradenton, Florida.
She defeated her opponent, Nina Sidhu in two straight sets with an emphatic 6-0, 6-1 win to claim her first trophy on US soil. The final was the climax of a competition she dominated winning all her matches convincingly in two sets apiece.
On the way to the final, Marylove defeated Anastasiia Pestereva in the round of sixteen in two straight sets of 6-3, 6-2. She followed up on her remarkable form beating Nicole Ciemark in a 6-0, 6-1 in the quarter finals before ensuring her place in the final with a 6-2, 6-0 defeat of Stella Rundova.
With support from her Lagos-based pan-African talent agency, Temple Management Company (TMC), the twelve year-old has been on a roll. The organization focuses on harnessing and marketing creatively endowed individuals and has been propelling the career of the Nigerian sensation.
After a one week training stint at the IMG Academy in April, Marylove returned to Nigeria to shock keen observers of the Nigerian ennis circuit when she emerged as the first junior to make it to the finals of the CBN Women Seniors.
On close observation, IMG founder, Bolletieri singled out Marylove for her unique double-fisted style. His words, “Now this young girl is very different: super athlete. Very handy. Only a few can get away with that style.”
Committed to her development, TMC was able to secure financing to help the starlet return to IMG Academy to begin a full academic session in September at the prestigious tennis intuition which has produced the likes of the Serena and Venus Williams, Andre Agassi and Monica Seles among others.
Speaking from her IMG Academy base, Marylove expressed her excitement at her new achievement. “I have been training very hard since I started at IMG and was so happy to win my first trophy,” said an excited Marylove.
Also speaking, Koye Sowemimo, Head of Sports, TMC, said, “we are focused on our commitment to ensure that Marylove continues to make progress such as her latest triumph both on and off the court. This is a great step in that direction and we firmly believe it is just the beginning of what we will be a great future for her.”