Nigerian Players Are Underdogs —Da Silva

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Top Nigerian tennis star, Destiny Ford Da-Silva is of the opinion that the performance of Nigerian players in the Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship this year may not be different from their outing in the previous edition of the competition.

The 2012 Governor’s Cup will be held from 13-27 October at the Lagos Lawn tennis Club, Onikan. Da Silva, who is based in Germany told Tennis Special that though the local players would fail to win the International Tennis Federation, ITF, approved championship, the competition has helped in exposing the players and interacting with their counterparts around the world.

“I always laugh when Nigerian media writes that Nigerian players have not won the Governor’s Cup. How do you expect a player who has not played more than one tournament in a whole year to perform at the same level with players who play circuits nearly every week? I think we should not deceive ourselves, it would be hard to see us winning this competition. The foreign players have been stealing the show and this will definitely continue. I’m only participating so that I can gain more exposure,” said Da Silva.

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Tennis Special also scooped from a reliable source that several top Nigerian tennis players may not participate in this year’s tourney because the yet-to-be-decided Port-Harcourt Open which is likely to hold at the same time as Governor’s Cup will afford them an ‘opportunity’ to win something, as against the Governor’s Cup where their underdog status may not take them beyond the first round.

One of the players said: “Some of us may decide to play the Port-Harcourt Open because we are sure of winning something from the competition. If I have my way, I won’t be in Lagos if the Port-Harcourt Open holds simultaneously with the Governor’s Cup.”

—Damilare Okunola