About 24 tennis players from Europe, America and African countries have submitted entries to participate in the $75,000 Abuja Tennis Open billed to serve off May 1 in the nation’s capital.
Speaking at a news conference in Abuja, President of the Nigeria Tennis Federation, Sani Ndanusa said players from United States, Russia, Spain, Canada, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Egypt, France, Argentina, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Germany, United Kingdom, have already entered for the International Tennis Federation (ITF) ranked circuit.
Ndanusa said the organisers want to use the tournament to showcase Nigeria’s good image.
The organizers also want to use the competition to show that Nigeria is not as bad as it is portrayed around the world. We are honest, friendly and peace-loving People who are very hospitable to foreigners.
He also said that the tournament was borne out of a desire to provide opportunities for Nigerian Players to collect vital ATP points and to attract some of the best players in the world to play in Nigeria.
The tournament, which is currently in its 3rd edition, is divided into three legs of one week each with three different sponsors of $25,000 each.
It also has 35 ATP points up for grabs for each week and the winner of all the three legs has the potential to jump from not being ranked at all in the world to being ranked in the top 500.
The tournament, co-sponsored by three indigenous companies namely, Tombim Services limited, Dayak Nigeria limited and Gladiator Services Limited will see total sum of the prize money to be won during the various legs of the competition.
Tournament Director, Ikani Agabi explained that Tombim sponsored Open will commence May 1, the Dayak Nigeria Ltd sponsored will run from May 8-13, while the final leg, under the sponsorship of Gladiator Services Ltd will commence on May 13 and finish May 18.
The competition is borne out of a desire to provide the opportunity for Nigerian players to collect vital ATP points and to attract some of the best and up-coming players in the world to play in Nigeria. It is the firm belief of the organizers that an event of this nature will contribute positively to building the structure of Nigerian tennis and the image of Nigeria internationally.
The tournaments are male only events and will feature singles and doubles matches.
The final for the singles events are scheduled to hold on the 5th, 13th and 20 of May.
Source: Voice of Nigeria