The 16th Governors Cup Lagos Tennis Championship will serve off on Saturday October 8 through October 22 at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan with eight Nigerians allotted wild cards into the championship.
The tournament which is upping its prize-money to $100,000 from $80,000 will ensure players from over 35 countries battling for two week in what is now officially the ITF highest prize-money championship in Africa, Asia and South America.
According to the Chairman of the LOC, Chief Pius Akinyelure the increase in prize money has raised the bar regarding the status of the tournament.
“This singular action ,the increase, has not only cemented Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis in the number one position in Futures Tournaments in Africa, Asia and South America, it is also the final step towards the tournament’s upgrading to the Challenger Series. This level, with its attendant economic and commercial benefits gels into the future of Lagos as a Mega City. We will be moving from an ITF tournament to a Professional Tennis Association (PTA) tournament which is only a step away from the ultimate in tennis, the Tennis Open,” Akinyelure stated.
Nigeria Tennis Federation President, Sani Ndanusa said the Governor’s Cup has now become a household name and carnival to tennis lovers in Nigeria and the entire world.
Ndanusa, who was represented by the NTF’s 1st Vice-President Yemi Owoseni, commended Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode noting that despite the economic downturn, kept faith with the championship by adding to its prize money thus enhancing its value.
He pointed that more local and international tournaments have been added to the activities of the NTF adding that the federation will continue its drive in ensuring the continuous development of Nigerian tennis by providing technical support for the players.
“Today, we are having six futures in our calendar which is likely to be around ten this time next year,” Ndanusa said as he urged local players to take advantage of the tournament as part of exposure to international tennis.
Tournament Coordinator, Prince Wale Oladunjoye revealed that it was a bit challenging to attract sponsors due to the country’s recession but said they are working assiduously to bring reactivate the sponsorship of Etisalat and FCMB among other corporate sponsors.