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Meet Marylove Edwards, Nigeria’s 13 year-old tennis sensation – BBC Sport Africa

My name is Marylove Edwards. I’m a 13 year old Nigerian tennis player. I became number four in Nigeria for the senior category by getting into the finals of senior CBN championship in 2017 by beating older players along the way. Because I play with a lot of power
people call me Nigerian Serena. I tell them I love Serena and the way she plays,
I love her style. But I tell them I would love to be myself – just be Marylove Edwards. My best strength is is my ability to play
my both forehand and backhand double-fist. Like, you rarely see that in
the world of tennis. Basically you see everyone with one hand forehand,
one hand backhand or one hand forehand, two hand backhand. It’s a very special way of playing tennis and it’s a lot more powerful. Not many people in the world of tennis can do that. My dad introduced tennis to me
when I was 2. I started playing tennis when i was four. I’ve been playing tennis
with my dad who is also my coach. It was a commitment from the two of us. From day one I made her see and realize what is there to gain if she cooperates with me in the projects. And she wanted to go on with it. When I tell my friends in school I play
tennis they are surprised. Some of them don’t know
what the game tennis is. They’re like, how do you play? What’s tennis?
Is it a book? Is it a sport? I’m like, “it’s a sport”. The guys in my class they are always like “oh, tennis is so easy, I can beat you Marylove”. Some of them try to put me down. It’s been so good playing in the Academy
with good facilities, good coaches. Playing with the founder of the Academy
Nick Bollettieri. The coach said I was a super athlete. The best part of my game is my ability
of never giving up even though when I’m down in a match when I’m losing in my match
I still keep fighting even though my opponent is older than me
they try to in this intimidate me but I keep fighting, never give up. I want to see myself play in WTA in the next two years – that would be a big achievement for me. I could be the Nigerian first
Grand Slam winner in history and – who knows – maybe become
champion of the world!

David Frank



  1. SAID DE GALER Posted on May 7, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    go forward sister, as African i really proud of you.

  2. DeeJuwa Posted on May 7, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    I am a die hard tennis fan and I AM EXTREMELY PROUD OF YOU!!! GET READY FOR YOUR DREAMS TO COME TRUE!!! I'm rooting for you!!

  3. VanLightning900 Posted on May 8, 2018 at 5:43 am

    A Nigerian with THAT name?!

  4. Ola Ahmed Posted on May 8, 2018 at 8:53 am

    Why always BBC? what are local stations focusing their attention on? POLITICS!!

  5. b04620k Posted on May 9, 2018 at 4:20 am

    Dope. Go get it yo! Loves from South Africa

  6. jude Godwin Posted on May 9, 2018 at 5:57 am

    I wish you the best dear

  7. subby Posted on May 9, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    You go lil sis!! Love from Holland

  8. jacek cieniuch Posted on May 9, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    Aww shes a sweet hart wish her she be the next Venise

  9. udofia owoidoho Posted on May 15, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    i believe u Marylove…pride of Africa.

  10. JON OLOT Posted on June 19, 2018 at 1:04 am

    Stay focused, be courageous and perseverance. I wish you all the best.

  11. DA Adenekan Posted on September 24, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Long way to go in terms of technique etc…The truth? well u will competing with people from Europe, America, the Caribbean Who have better tennis centres, coaches and development programs….concentrate on school and dont put all your hope on tennis…

  12. Innovator XD Posted on November 13, 2018 at 3:30 am

    Love from Perú

  13. Suleiman Ahmadu Posted on July 27, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    You go girl…..you have a fan here. I will be following!