Winners have emerged in the first edition of the Governor Abdullahi Sule Akwanga ATP 1000 and WTA 500 Open Tennis Championship.
In the ATP 1000 men’s Doubles final played, at the Kini Country Guest Inn Tennis Court, Akwanga, Nasarawa State, the duo of Sani Yau and Abisabo Haruna defeated Abu Haruna and Abraham Taro to emerge champions by 1000 points to 500.
In the WTA 500 Ladies’ Singles final, Stella Joel lost 500 to 200 points to Loveth Ogah.
In his remarks at the presentation of trophies and prize money to the winners, Nasarawa State Governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule, congratulated the new champions for the feat achieved while expressing his determination to continue to support the growth and development of tennis in the State.
“I congratulate the winners of both the Men’s and Women’s doubles and Singles respectively. I pray and hope to see all the participants and other sons and daughters of our beloved State playing at various national and international tennis championships in the nearest future.
“I love the game of tennis, and I enjoy playing and watching it. Luckily enough, God has blessed me with the opportunity to watch various international tennis championships like the US Open, Wimbledon, Australian Open as well as the French Open”, he said.
While thanking the sponsor of the tournament, Sardauna Gudi Ahmed Sule and organizers for ensuring the successful hosting of the championship, the Governor eulogised the State’s Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Othman Bala Adam, for his relentless efforts to place the State among the best in the country and beyond through his numerous initiatives.
“I must commend the Honourable Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development whose creativity and innovative sagacity have been earning the State medals and excellent rankings in different sporting tournaments nationwide.
“He is an ever-winning Commissioner and with him, Nasarawa State will continue to win medals”, the number one citizen of the State revealed.
Speaking earlier, the Nasarawa State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Othman Bala Adam, said both he and the entire state are indebted to the Governor whose poise for youth and sports development has aided in identifying young talents with the potential of making the State and Country proud in global championships.
The Commissioner commended the foresight of the sponsor, Sardauna Gudi Ahmed Sule, the Tennis Federation, Nasarawa State chapter, headed by Ahmed Alhaji Babanrabi, and the head coach, Shuaibu Usman, for the success of the tournament and promised that his Ministry would continue to lend its support to worthy programmes like the Tennis Championship and encourage more in such direction.
In his welcome address, Chairman of the Tennis Federation, Nasarawa State chapter, Ahmadu Alhaji Babanrabi, on behalf of the organizers, appreciated the Governor for being at the grand finale despite the short notice sent.
He, however, pleaded with the Governor to construct a befitting tennis court within the premises of the Sports Academy, Akwanga, to keep players in the zone active and aid the discovery of talents within the zone for future national and international championships.
The 2020 edition of the Engr. A.A Sule Akwanga Open Tennis Championship, which also had in attendance at the closing ceremony, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, served-off on Monday, September 28, 2020, with the round-robin playoffs. The championship brought together the best players in various categories within the State.