'Why Nigerian Stars Flopped'

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Former coach of the International Tennis Federation, ITF, Junior Champion, Alfred Otu, has expressed displeasure over the poor run of Nigerian players at the ongoing Governor’s Cup. He said the players are not well exposed to rub shoulders with their foreign counterparts.

Otu stated this at the Lagos Tennis Club, Onikan after seeing Nigerian players crashing out of both men and women single’s event of the tourney.

He said the players should not be blamed for their woes, arguing that dearth of tourneys in the country to keep them busy was responsible for their failure.

“They tried their best, but it was not good enough for them to book their quarter final tickets of the single’s event. I cannot blame them. When last did the majority of them play in an ITF tourney? They cannot rub shoulders with their opponents, who travel from one country to another to play series of tournaments,” he said.

The septuagenarian attributed the dearth of tourneys in the country to corruption.

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He said corporate organisations are no longer interested in investing in the game for some people to enrich themselves and abandon the players to suffer.

He opined that the Nigerian Tennis Federation has derailed, urging them to go back to the grassroots for the nation to bounce back as a force to reckon with in the game of tennis across the globe.

“NTF needs to go back to the grassroots and discover new talents and nurture them to stardom.

“They need to be held accountable for the fund given to them to develop the game by sponsors. They must ensure that the fund is rightly used to sponsor players abroad to gain more points in ranking and to get the needed exposure,” he said.

—Abidoye Olusegun

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