Foreign players won’t overshadow Nigerian stars, says organisers
With tennis players from over 60 countries expected to feature in this year’s Lagos Governor’s Cup Tennis Championship, a member of the organising body, Prince Wale Oladunjoye, has assured that Nigerian tennis stars would be able to hold their own against their foreign counterparts.
The 2015 edition of the championship will run from December 5 to 19.
Speaking yesterday in Lagos, Oladunjoye, who is the Tournament Director, said that Nigerian tennis players have ‘come of age,’ adding that some of them have what it takes to withstand pressure from their international counterparts in the championship.
“The championship is not about Nigerian players alone, but from what we have seen of Nigerian players over the years, I am sure they can hold their own even in the midst of foreign players. All the players will have a great stay in Lagos because we are working round the clock to put in place ITF standard tournament,” he said.
The Lagos Governor’s Cup Tennis Championship is the baby of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and this year’s edition is the 15th series. It will hold at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan.
According to the organisers, the 2015 Lagos Governor’s Cup tennis championship will have record entries, as players from all continents of the world are waiting anxiously for the tournament to serve off. The two-week event has Futures 3 and 4.
Europe tops the list with 34 countries presenting players for the championship.
The European nations include The Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Serbia, France, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Italy, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Sweden, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, Great Britain, Liechtenstein, Norway, Belgium, Croatia and Slovenia.
Others are Ireland, Poland, Denmark, Belarus, Romania, Portugal, Montenegro, Bolivia, Moldova, New Zealand and Greece.
Players will be coming from 13 African countries, including the host, Nigeria, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Benin, Morocco, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Botswana, Liberia and Zambia.
Seven countries from Asia are Turkey, India, China, Pakistan, Japan, Israel and Tajikistan, while three South American nations will also have their players in the Lagos tournament. They are Brazil, Argentina and Panama.
USA and Canada will represent North America, while some players will also come from Australia.
The Governor’s Cup is an ITF Pro Circuit competition with a total prize money package of 80,000 dollars. The men winners get 30,000 dollars while the women winners in the two legs pocket 50,000 dollars.
The sponsorship of Governor’s Cup is being facilitated over the years by FCMB and Etisalat Nigeria and others such as Deux Projects Ltd, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, LIRS, CCECC, Julius Berger Plc, Naston Ltd, LASACO Plc among other private individuals.
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