20th September, 2013
There are strong indications that some top world players who were regular faces in the annual Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship are on their way to the city of Lagos for the 13th edition of the ITF approved competition.
With less than a month to the serve off day of the tournament on 13 October, the secretariat of Nigeria Tennis Federation, NTF, has been receiving several requests from players across the world for letters of invitation to process their entry visas to the country.
Notable among these foreign players are Russian Nina Bratchikova, winner of Futures 2 of women’s singles of the 2010 edition and Futures 1 doubles event of the same year. She made it to the third round of the 2012 Australian Open and in August this year, she played up to the second round of the U.S. Open.
Another player is 22 years old American Alexandra Riley, who will be coming for the tournament sponsored by Etisalat Nigeria and FCMB Plc. from an ITF circuit in Algeria.
Swiss star, Conny Fabiola Perrin, is coming to Lagos this year to fight for honour in the women’s singles, so also is Brazil’s Pedranzini Rafful Lara, who was in Lagos two editions ago with her mother, Mrs. Pedranzini Marina.
Indian boy, Virali Murugesan Ranjeet, who was in Lagos last year and had won the men’s singles and the doubles event of the Futures in the past, is staging a comeback this year.
At least, 32 players from about 19 countries of the world have signified their intention of coming down to Lagos for the competition as at third week of September with the deadline for registration still another three weeks to go. Some of the countries are Canada, Germany, Brazil, Ghana, China, India, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Thailand, Russia, USA, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Turkey, Madagascar, South Africa, Austria and Portugal.
Interesting, some Indian mothers such as Mrs. Sucheta Sunkara, Hemalatha Bavisetti, Deshmukh Chhaya Vilas and Mrs. Pedranzini Marina (Brazil) as well as fathers, Mr. Gulabrao Nivrutti Thombare (India) and German Specht Dieter are coming with their children to Lagos.
Also coaches such as Schneider Markus Wilhelm (Germany), Marijan Goran Jure (Australia), Alexey Filenkov (Russia), Pedro Luis Pacheco Pereira (Portugal) and Prahlad Srinath (India) will be at the Governor’s Cup this year.
South African Rens Anton Johan is also coming as the Tournament referee with another Kenyan official, Kamuhia Patrick Muita.