12th October, 2012
The Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan, Lagos will come alive today as the 12th edition of the Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship serves off.
The International Tennis Federation, ITF-approved circuit, which is co-sponsored by FCMB Plc and Etisalat Nigeria, will parade top tennis stars from about 55 countries, who will be jostling for the $80,000 prize money in the two-legged championship which has been the leading tennis Futures in Africa in the last 12 years.
P.M.NEWS checks at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club yesterday revealed that all is set for the competition as the Local Organising Committee, LOC, Nigeria Tennis Federation and the sponsors are ready to host a quality tournament with a lot of side attractions.
Today, player’s sign in with the deadline set at 6 p.m. by the ITF, while the qualifying matches for the first leg will be played between tomorrow and Sunday. The Main Draws in both Singles and Doubles’ events start on Monday.
“We are ready to stage a memorable tournament this year,” said Prince Wale Oladunjoye, a tennis enthusiast, who is the Tournament Director.
There is no doubt that this year’s Governor’s Cup will be keenly contested with the calibre of world stars coming to Lagos to participate in this year’s tourney. The competition is parading, for the first time, a player ranked within the Top 100 in the world in the women’s singles. Russia’s Nina Bratchikova (93), who reach the second round of the Australian Open this year is leading the pack of foreign players to this tournament, which has been adjudged as the leading African tennis tournament.
Other women players include Chanel Simmonds of South Africa (183) and Slovak Republic’s Dalila Jakupovic (298), while the men’s event has the likes of Slovak Republic’s Kamil Capkovic (255), Japanese Kento Takeuchi (478) and South Africa’s Ruan Roelofse (489).
Shehu Lawal will be leading the local players to the tournament, while the NTF, through its secretary, Mrs. Nkana Mbora said the federation will release the names of the wild card players in both the men and women’s events by the weekend ahead of the Monday’s Main Draws matches.