Nigerian lawn tennis players
By Femi Solaja
After several months of careful planning, the 12th edition of the Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship serves off at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan Friday.
The FCMB Plc and Etisalat Nigeria sponsored International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament will parade top tennis stars from 55 countries. The final game is scheduled for October 27.
The tournament is to start with sign-in of players with a deadline of 6pm local time set by the ITF after which the draws for the qualifying matches scheduled for Saturday and Sunday will be done by the referee from Britain.
The Main Draws of Futures 1 will begin on Monday, October 15 and end on Saturday with players contesting for the $15,000 and $25,000 prize monies of Futures 1 Men and Women’s Singles respectively.
The second leg will begin immediately where the players are expected to win the same prize monies as the first leg.
Tournament Director, Prince Wale Oladunjoye, said Thursday that all was now set for the commencement of another exciting tennis classic in Lagos, adding that the Local Organising Committee, (LOC) Nigeria Tennis Federation, (NTF), major sponsors and other co sponsors as well as the host, the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club were ready.
This year’s Governor’s Cup promises to be tough with the calibre of world stars featuring. The competition will be parading for the first time a player ranked within top 100 in the world in the women’s singles. Russia Nina Bratchikova (93), who reached the second round of the Australian Open this year, is leading the pack of foreign players to this tournament, which has been adjudged as the leading African tennis tournament.
Other women players include Chanel Simmonds of South Africa (183) and Slovak Republic’s Dalila Jakupovic (298), while the men’s event has the likes of Slovak Republic’s Kamil Capkovic (255), Japanese Kento Takeuchi (478) and South Africa’s Ruan Roelofse (489).
Shehu Lawal will be leading the local players to the tournament.
Meanwhile, NTF Secretary, Mrs. Nkana Mbora, has said that the federation will release the names of the players to enjoy the wild card for both the men and women’s events this weekend ahead of Monday’s Main Draws matches.