Tennis: Abuja Open Debuts In May

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Damilare Okunola

P.M.NEWS Sport can report that a new international tennis tournament which will attract foreign players will hold in Abuja next month.

According to information made available to our correspondent by the Tournament Director, Barr. Ikani Agabi, the competition, which is like the annual Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship, carries a prize of $15,000 including hospitality.

Agabi explained that players from over 20 foreign countries had already signified interest in participating in the two-legged tournament which will hold in Abuja from 27 April to 10 May, 2015.

According to Agabi, “the ATP points that the tournament gives out is about 35 as against the 30 which players get for winning the Governor’s Cup, so it makes it bigger in that regard. Also, the prize money is $15, 000 including hospitality.

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“These and many other reasons have attracted foreign players from over 20 countries already, while others are still being expected. Players from Germany, France, Ghana, Spain, South Africa, Brazil, and several others have already signified their interest in participating in the tournament.”

Asked how Nigerian players will be able to participate in the tournament since there would be higher ranked players in the Championship, Mr. Agabi explained that there would be wildcard playoff in Abuja a week before the commencement of the competition.

He noted that, “unlike the Governor’s Cup where we often give our best players the wildcard, we want them to slug it out here in Abuja and see them first hand before giving out the wildcard.

“We shall base it on present form and not simply on pedigree. We are considering given 10 wildcards to the local players, six for the qualifiers and four for the main draws.”