Michael, Ifidzhen Win CBN Tennis Championship

Moses Michael and Melissa Ifidzhen, Saturday emerged men’s and women’s singles champions of the 38th Central Bank of Nigeria Open Tennis Championship in Lagos.
Moses bagged a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 win over Sylvester Emmanuel for his first title at the event while Melissa successfully defended her crown with a dominant 6-3, 6-2 win over top seed Christy Agugbom, the same player she defeated in last year’s final.
“The last Tombim and Dayak ITF Futures really helped me because it keeps me in good shape and it showed in the way I played in this tournament,” said Michael, who was beaten in last year’s final by Thomas Otu.
On her part, Russia-based Melissa said she looks forward to dominating the CBN Championship for more years to come.
“I came for this tournament from Egypt and my only intention was to win like I did last year and I’m happy I achieved my goal. Next year I will aim to do the same, “she said.
Both winners pocketed N700, 000 each while the finalists got N500, 000 each
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele said the standard of the tournament reflect the growth in the game domestically.
Emefiele, who was represented by the CBN Director in charge of Capacity Development, Mrs Victoria Chizoba, appealed to corporate bodies and stakeholders to pool efforts at raising the profile of tennis in Nigeria.
Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) President, Sani Ndanusa, expressed appreciation of the federation to the apex bank stressing, among others, that the tournament is of great value to the players through its economic empowerment. “For 38 solid years, CBN has kept faith with this competition. We in NTF remain very grateful and will do anything possible to keep the partnership.
Lawal Shehu and Abdulmumin Babalola defeated Moses Michael and Christian Paul 6-4, 6-4 to win the men’s doubles title while Melissa partnered Sarah Adegoke to beat Agugbom and Blessing Samuel 6-0, 6-1 for the women’s doubles crown.
Alex Adewale and Foluke Shittu beat Wasiu Yusuf and Kafayat Omisore for the wheelchair category titles.
The NTF also honoured its late board member, Prof. Philomena Ikulayo with a post-humous award.