20th October, 2010
Two Nigerian players, who put up impressive performances to cruise to the secondÂ round of the 10th Governorâ€™s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship, believe they have whatÂ it takes to make strong impact in the ITF approved tourney this year.
Nigeriaâ€™s Davis Cup player, Abdulmumini Babalola, and CBN Open womenâ€™s singlesÂ champion, Fatimah Abinu, proved bookmakers wrong in the first round of the MainÂ Draws, when they upset ranked foreign players in their respective matches in FuturesÂ 1 of the tourney .
Babalola stopped Ivorian Valentine Sanon, who is ranked number 606 in the world, inÂ straight sets of 6-4,6-2, while Abinu was too hot for American Alexandra Riley (923)Â in another straight sets of 6-1,6-4.
Babalola said: â€œI believe I can do it this time around. There is no big deal in theÂ games of the foreign players. If only we can raise our games a little, we can alwaysÂ beat them.â€
Abinu, who will be facingÂ Â tournament number one female player, Kucova Zuzana, inÂ the second round match, said she was not afraid of the Slovakia player who won bothÂ Futures 1 and 2 last year.
â€œIâ€™m not thinking much of my next match. Iâ€™ll take the matches as they come. Iâ€™m notÂ afraid of my second round opponent, Iâ€™m ready to play my game,â€ she said.
Meanwhile, the opening ceremony of the Governorâ€™s Cup Lagos will be held today. TheÂ briefÂ informal ceremony will start by 3p.m. at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan.
According to the Tournament Director, Prince Wale Oladunjoye, officials of theÂ sponsors, Etisalat Nigeria and FCMB Plc, have been invited to be part of theÂ ceremony.
â€œThough the tournament has begun since 15 October, the opening ceremony will be aÂ brief event to declare the 10th edition of the championship opened
â€œUsually, it is not a big event unlike the closing ceremony. We are expectingÂ officials of our major sponsors to be part of the event and other invited guestsÂ from the Lagos State government,â€ said the Senior Special Assistant on GrassrootsÂ Sports to Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola.