24th August, 2010
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Ondo State Tennis Association will host a National Open from 10-18 September, 2010 in Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria.
Speaking with P.M.Sports on telephone yesterday, the Chief Coach of the association, Francis Bamidele said that Governor Olusegun Mimiko has given his approval and released funds for the tourney. He said while the Governorâ€™s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship is bankrolled every year by the friends of the governors and assistance from the private sector, the Ondo State National Open is solely sponsored by the state government.
â€œI want to say that preparation for the competition is in top gear. We are working round the clock to ensure that we host a memorable tournament. The government has given us the go ahead to organise the competition and we wonâ€™t undermine the confidence reposed in us by Governor Mimiko. We have sent invitations out to the players and our guests. We have also printed T-shirts, posters and fixed a date, so I think we are more than ready for the serve off date of the competition,â€ said Coach Bamidele.
The Chief Coach revealed that the state will play host to most of the top players in the local scene, adding that Ondo State is expecting wild cards for four players each for male and female events for the tournament. He said one of the stateâ€™s players, Idowu Owolabi, will surely play in the weeklong competition.
â€œWe are expecting Owolabi and a few others to make the tourney. He is one of our top players who I believe has what it takes to make Ondo State proud in the tourney,â€ he said.
According to Coach Bamidele, the sum of N200, 000 will go to the winner in the Menâ€™s Singles, while the winner in the Womenâ€™s Singles will take home the sum of N150,000.
He disclosed that the organizers will make enough provisions to ensure that all the players that make the Main Draws of the tourney have a memorable competition.
â€œWith the help of the state government, we will ensure that the players, officials and coaches who are visiting us for the tourney are well treated,â€ he said.