Lagos Governor's Cup Begins

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The attention of tennis followers across the world has shifted to Lagos, Nigeria, as the 11th Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship serves off today.

The two-week tourney, sponsored by Etisalat, FCMB and others, which is expected to end on 29 October, has over 300 players jostling for the $80,000 prize money in both the men and women’s events. The venue of the championship, Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan, is wearing a new look, courtesy of the Local Organising Committee, LOC headed by Chief Pius Akinyelure.

The players are expected to register today for the biggest tennis event in the country and Africa before playing their qualifying games tomorrow and Sunday to qualify for the Main Draws, which will begin on Monday.

Secretary General of the Nigeria Tennis Federation, NTF, Mrs. Nkana Nbora, told P.M.Sports that the stage is set for this year’s tourney, and urged Nigerians to come out and watch the best of tennis action.

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Chief Coach of the federation, Rotimi Akinloye, said he expects Nigerian players to do well in this tournament, after a good outing at the recently concluded All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique. “In terms of organisation, the LOC has been doing this in the last 11 years. I am confident that we’ll see a good tourney this year. On the part of our players, I only hope they surpass their previous outings as they are not ripe to win the competition. They hardly play championships outside this country,” he said.

Capkovic Kamil of Solvakia, who is ranked No. 292, is leading in the men’s event. Other players who have been in Lagos for the competition are Indian Rastogi Karan (324) and Boy Westerhof of Holland (440).

Candy Idoko, who is ranked No. 1361, is leading the Nigerian boys to the Governor’s Cup this year. He will be joined by Enosoregbe Kingsley (1634), Shehu Lawal (1634), Olawepo Bolaji, Igbinovia Monday, Adamu Sanni, Alade Kehinde Maku Sunday, Akingbade Pekun, Mbanu Onyeka, Ayeni David and Yussuf Ganiyu.

—Olusegun Abidoye