International Tennis Federation (ITF) Head of Operations for Africa and Middle East, Iain Smith has stated that the world governing body is impressed with Nigeria’s growing commitment to tennis.
The South African gold badge referee, who conducted a three-day ITF/CAT Workshop and Refresher Courses for White Badge officials in West and Central Africa held from April 27th – 29th 2017 in Abuja, urged the country not to relent in the drive to reach a high standard in the sport.
“The ITF is aware of the commitment to tennis development in Nigeria. Gradually, Nigeria is getting more international tournaments in addition to the Lagos Governor’s Cup which has the highest prize-money in Africa for ITF Futures men and women . This is good for Nigeria and the game and we are very impressed,” he said, after the course which featured 11 Nigerians, a Ghanaian and a Togolese.
Meanwhile the 3rd Tombim Abuja Open will serve off Monday with seven Nigerians competing in the main draw of 32.
Nigeria’s best ranked player Sylvester Emmanuel (1160) faces a tough tie as he battles world no 311 Italian Alessandro Bega, who is seeded third.
Emmanuel Idoko, a wildcard beneficiary, had a daunting task against second seed Canadian, Brayden Schnur, who is the world number 308.
Clifford Enosoregbe keeps a date with British qualifier, Joe Cooper just as Emmanuel Emeruwa confronts seventh seed, Benjamin Lock of Zimbabwe ranked no 457.
Also, Imeh Ubon battles Mark Fynn of Zimbabwe while Thomas Otu heads for a showdown with Henry Atseye in an all-Nigeria clash.
The Tombim Open is the first of the three ITF Futures billed for Nigeria to be followed by the Dayak Championship and the GSL Open which are also holding this May.