World Stars Eye $80,000 Prize Money

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The annual Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship is creating excitement among tennis players across the world as indications emerge that a record number of the players will be in Lagos, Nigeria to fight for the tournament’s $80,000 prize money this year.

Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, LOC of the ITF approved circuit sponsored by First City Monument Bank, FCMB and Etisalat Nigeria, Chief Oluwole Pius Akinyelure told newsmen at a press conference yesterday that all is set for the competition where more than 300 players, spread across 55 countries of the world, will be featuring from 13-27 October.

Akinyelure, who hailed the global acceptance of the tournament, which will be played at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan, commended the major sponsors and co-sponsors for their commitment to the tournament over the years.

He disclosed that among the foreign players coming for the competition this year, is world number 93, Russian Nina Bratchikova, a past winner of the circuit who reached the second round of the 2012 Australian Open.

“At the last edition of the championship, we had entries from 35 countries including Nigeria but this year, entries are already in from 55 countries. This shows that the circuit is being accepted globally,” Akinyelure said.

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Group Head, Corporate Communications, FCMB, Mr. Ikechukwu Kalu reiterated the commitment of the bank to the Governor’s Cup, saying that the sponsorship is in fulfilling the company’s corporate responsibility.

Modupe Thani, Head of Events and Sponsorship of Etisalat Nigeria assured that the telecommunications giant’s involvement in the Governor’s Cup in the last four year has helped the game of tennis in the country and promised that this year’s competition will see more innovations from Etisalat.

President of the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Barrister Sam Egbuchunam said the club is ready for the tournament as all the facilities at the venue have been upgraded to world class standard.

—Damilare Okunola