A French player of Nigerian descent, Calvin Hemery failed in his spirited effort to win the second leg (Futures 6) of 16th edition of Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship on Saturday.
Hemery, whose father was a Nigerian, was a delight to watch with his determined spirit, giving the tournament number one, Enrique Lopez-Perez of Spain, a good run for his money; even despite the light drizzle that disrupted their more than three hours gruelling match. It was however the best man that carried the day as Hemery fell to Lopez-Perez in straight set of 5-7,5-7 in the final of the men’s singles decided on the Centre Court of the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan.
Hemery, the tournament number two seed, who lost out in the quarter finals of the first leg (Futures 5), was cheered all the way by guests, who included the representative of the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Tunji Bello who is the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chairman of the LOC, Chief Pius Akinyelure, Vice President of Nigeria Tennis Federation, NTF, Mr Yemi Owoseni, President of Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Barrister Rotimi Edu and a crowd of schools children.
Hemery described his match against the Spanish star as one of the toughest in recent, but proud of himself in defeat. He was so happy coming to Lagos to play the Governor’s Cup Tennis for the first time, adding that he would love to represent Nigeria someday if he is called to do so.
Bello, who stood in for Governor Akinwunmi Ambode applauded the performance of the two men finalists and thumbed up the organisation of the International Tennis Federation, ITF, approved circuit, saying that the Lagos State Government will always give its support to the competition because of its numerous values to development and projection of Lagos as one of the emerging mega cities of the world.
It was, however, a sweet revenge for Conny Perrin of Switzerland beating her perennial foe at the Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis, Tadeja Majeric from Slovakia in the thrilling final of the women’s singles that ended in straight set of 6-3,6-3. Majeric beat Perrin to win the first leg (Futures 5) on 15 October.
Perrin told the media after the match that she was not surprised with this sweet revenge, adding that she had always been Majeric’s doubles partner in Lagos tournament and they knew each other very well.
“I’m happy winning this competition, not so surprised because I had won it before and more importantly my opponent, Majeric is a good player. It is always tough playing. She beat me in the final last week.
“On my assessment of the Lagos tournament, this has been a great competition for me because my experience here over the years has been so exciting and I’m glad that before coming to Lagos, I was on number 230 in the world, but with my performance here, I should be on top 200,” Perrin said.
The 16th edition of the Governor’s Cup Tennis, which served off on 8 October, was a competition where a total sum of 100,000 dollars as prize money was contested for by players from 39 countries of the world.