After an interrupted 17 years of staging Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis tournament, the organisers, yesterday decided to transform the annual event into Lagos Open in order to give the event an elevated global status.
The Chairman of Central Working Committee (CWC) of the tournament, Chief Pius Olu Akinyelure stated this at a press conference to herald this year’s edition of the competition which will hold from 29th September to 13th of October.
He explained that the intention of the organisers was to move the tournament from Futures status to Challenger circuit which will enable higher profiled international players like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, the Williams sisters (Serena and Venus) and Angela Keber to grace the annual tournament.
According to him, ” this is the 18th edition of the event meaning it has attained manhood and there is the need to upgrade from the present status to the next level. Aside that, from 2020, the Futures Tour will no longer attract Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) ranking points and therefore men’s tennis will effectively begin at the Challenger level. This is part of the International Tennis Federation’s attempt to reduce the number of professional players from around 14,000 to approximately 750 men and 750 women,” he explained.
He noted that the implication of the transformation is that men’s Future will no longer be attractive to professional tennis players nor to sponsors and the CWC as no choice than to elevate the event from the coming years.
In a bid to meet the international standard practice, the committee has engaged OE &E Marketing firm represented by Mr. Tony Agenmonmen and Mr. Ehi Braimah to rebrand the tournament. A new logo for the annual event was also unveiled during the programme.
“This transition comes with a lot of benefits especially in the calibre of players participating, advanced on and off court infrastructural upgrade and equipment, electronic scoreboards, tennis line technology, higher level tennis officials and officiating, training of local technical officials and ball boys,” he remarked.
He said the this year will be the valedictory edition of Futures tennis which is made of two futures in F5 and F6 with players participating in four events namely; men’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s singles and women’s doubles.
Players from about 40 countries have signified their intention to participate in the annual event with the total prize money still at $100,000.