Dearth Of Tourneys Affected Local Stars


 Abdulmumin Babalola spoke with OLUSEGUN ABIDOYE on the non impressive performance of Nigerian players in the Governor’s Cup and other issues about the game in the country at the Lagos Tennis Club, Onikan.


How did you start playing tennis?

I started as a ball boy at Ibadan Recreational Club. I later fell in love with the game and you know the game of tennis is all about love. That is why I went into it.

How do you feel about the absence of the Nigerian national coaches in the tourney?

It is not strange to Nigerian players because this is not the first time that we will be playing without them. It is only when we are playing in All Africa Games and Davis Cup that the sport federation deems it fit to invite them. Therefore, I do not think that their presence is really necessary but for foreign players, it is necessary. It is very sad, because it is only when they need us that they think about us. They do not bother about our progress in the game; it’s only to play for them, nothing like monitoring of our games and our performances outside the federation’s camp.

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The coaches should not be blamed because if the sport federation makes provision for them, they would surely be at the tourney.

Did their absence affect your games?

It did, but we are used to the situation. We need national coaches to help us monitor our development, but whom do we complain to? We just have to hold on and keep charging ourselves.

What was responsible for the lackluster performance of the Nigerian players in the tourney?

Our opponents play around the world. Some of the foreign players even came from one competition for this tourney, unlike us that hardly play three tourneys in a year. It is very difficult to compete with our foreign counterparts. The more you play, the better you are as a player. The dearth of tourneys in the country really affected us.

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