Tennis: 9 Nigerians to play in Governor's Cup main draws


Taiwo Adelu

At least nine Nigerian players will be in action in the Main Draws of the first leg of the 2012 Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship, which start on Monday at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan.

Apart from Shehu Lawal and Clifford Enosoregbe who were given automatic slots to play in the Main Draws of the Men Singles by the International Tennis Federation, ITF because they are the highest ranked Nigerian players, the likes of Onyeka Mbanu, Umaru Balami, Emmanuel Idoko and Abdulmumini Babalola will be opportuned to rub shoulders with their foreign counterparts courtesy of the Men’s Singles’ wild cards from the Nigeria Tennis Federation, NTF.

Fatimah Abinu, Sarah Adegoke, Adeyinka Thompson were given the wild cards in the women’s categories, while Sarah Tazafinmahatratra from Madagascar was the only African player to enjoy the wild cards this year.

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Two other Nigerian players also scaled the hurdles of the qualifying series which ended on Sunday. Sunday, Kehinde Alade upset Murphey Parker of USA 6-4,6-1 to book a ticket in the Main Draws, while John Otu was too much for Japanese Yu Takahashi in their game that ended in straight sets of 6-2,6-1 to get the Main Draws slot.

But Bridget Chidi of Nigeria was not lucky in her game against Indian Aranba Andrady as she was beaten 6-0.6-0 in the qualifiers. Nigerian Abiodun Oyegoke was defeated by Indian Nikita Deshimukh 6-4,6-2, while Ester Masuri of Israel defeated Chinenye Ndid Izuogo 6-0,6-0.

Kamil Capkovic of Slovakia and Russian Nina Bratchikova are the top seeds in the Men and Women’s Singles respectively in the tournament sponsored by FCMB PLc and Etisalat Nigeria. The first leg ends on Saturday, 20 October.

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