Stakeholders lament ‘poor attention’ to CBN Senior Tennis Championship

Some tennis lovers in the country have given both the organisers and sponsors of the Central Bank of Nigeria Senior Tennis Tournament some knocks over what they termed as ‘poor build up’ to the competition.

The 39th CBN Senior Tennis tournament moved into the round of 16 games yesterday with old warhorse, Shehu Lawal beating hard fighting Isaac Attah 6-4, 6-1 in one of the matches. But some tennis lovers, who were at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos yesterday to catch a glimpse of the tournament, expressed sadness with the ‘shabby’ arrangement, particularly the build up to the games.

“How come the organisers and the sponsors did not deem it fit to sensitise the public about this competition this year,” Temitope Ajayi, a former tennis player asked. “We know that things are hard, but anything that is worth doing is worth doing well. I was told that the press conference, which usually heralds the commencement of the competition, could not hold this year. I think this is not good for this tournament. Now, not many people are even aware that this competition has started.”

Another fan, who gave his name as Sammy, said that ‘poor’ sensitasation for this year’s edition of the CBN

Senior Tennis Tournament has affected the performance of the players. “The game of tennis is enjoyed more when the crowd is watching. Even the players enjoy playing good games when the crowd is cheering them. That is missing right now, and I think it is not a good one for this tournament,” he stated.

No official was ready to comment on the issues raised by the fans yesterday.

Meanwhile, Lawal combined experience and skill to overpower a more vibrant Isaac Attah 6-1 in the second set at the centre court yesterday, after winning the first set 6-4. Lawal is three-time champion (2003, 2004 and 2007) of the competition.

It was also a good day for Christopher Bulus, who booked his round of 16 ticket with a victory over Jonah Samuel whom he stopped at 6-4, 6-2.

Never-say-die Chinonso Madueke, who finished as runner-up in 2011 when he lost narrowly to Henry Atseye in the final, also advanced to the round of 16 by beating Michael 6-2, 6-3 to move on, just as Sunday Emmanuel also advanced by beating Timibra Godgift 6-2,6-3.

Women top seed, Christy Agugbom also had a victory song following her 6-1, 6-0 triumph over Oluchi Ozurumba, while Bukola Olowu outclassed Ramota Odeyemi 6-3, 6-1 to advance as well.

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