By Albert Akota
Chairman, Caretaker Committee of Nigeria Tennis Federation, NTF, Dayo Akindoju has said that the winners in this year’s Central Bank of Nigeria Tennis Championship will not only smile to bank with One million naira cash prize but also represent the country at the International Tennis Tournaments.
Akindoju made this known while addressing the media in Abuja yesterday. He said this year’s edition of the tournament will be used as the qualifiers to play in the World Cup for Men’s category (Davis Cup) as well as Billie Jean Cup (women’s tennis world cup) and also the Lagos Tennis Cup where only the Semifinalists get automatic ticket to participate.
He said, “Four things will happen as a result of this tournament. In June, we have four different tournaments, three of these tourneys will be held outside Nigeria while one will be hosted in Lagos. The players that will participate in all these tournaments are going to be in the CBN Tennis Open. This means, that it is the best of them that will attend this tournament. I will like to mention to you that we have the Davis Cup which is the World Cup of tennis where players all over the world. The best from this tournament will represent Nigeria at the tournament.”
He continued, “The second one is the Billie Jean Cup which like the world cup of tennis for ladies. No Nigerian has taken part in that tournament but for the first time, we will be participating in that tournament in Lithuania sometimes around 13th of June this year. And I can tell you, all the players selected are partaking in this Central Bank tournament. I will not mince words but to tell you that there will definitely be winners in this tournament with rewards to go home with.
“Then the third one, which is going to happen in Lagos, the top four players in the Male and Female version of the Singles are going to congregate in Lagos from 9th to 13th of June in the new Lagos Tennis Cup. Only the top semi-finalists are the players to feature in the Lagos Tennis Cup.” He added.
“We also the African Junior Tennis Team Championship, it’s coming up in Egypt on June 2 and I can tell you again, we have the Junior version of the Central Bank tournament scheduled for April 2021. The top players from the tournament are going to Egypt to represent Nigeria in the Cup called African Junior Team Championship. The results of that tournament will leak to us participation in the October Davis Cup Junior edition.
“This year, the level of competition will be very high not just because of the prize money but the opportunity to be able to represent Nigeria outside the country. All these happen because of the partnership the Federation have with the Central Bank of Nigeria.” He concluded.