|The wheelchair tennis players during the tournament at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos|
Alex Adewale retained his status as Nigeria’s number one male wheelchair tennis player following a ranking tournament which was held at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos last week.
The 2013 US Open second round player beat stiff opposition from former number one player, Wasiu Yusuf and Jude Uwaze to win the tournament and maintain his number one rating.
In the female category, Remilekun Basanya, the former number one, who dominated the sport for years, was seriously beaten and subsequently relegated to number ten as Foluke Shittu emerged as the new number one female wheelchair tennis player.
National Wheelchair Tennis Coach Frank Termena, told Naija Tennis Special that the ranking was done to reshuffle the ratings of the players and to restructure the sport in the new year.
The vastly-travelled Termena stated that the tournament held at the stadium would continue on a yearly basis as he also appealed to sponsors to help make it a much improved one for the players.
According to him, “it was a tournament put together to ensure a new ranking system for the players since it seems we had been neglected for a while now.
“I believe we cannot always rely on government to help us hold tournaments, that was why we had Flour Mills, producers of Golden Penny to support the tournament as they kit them and also gave out their products.”
The highly experienced ITF official however, expressed regrets that Nigeria would not be at this year’s African Championship to qualify for the World Team Cup as the country did not enter to play.
“We will not be at the African Championship because we did not enter. The federation said there was no money so we are not going. It is a shame that we will not be there because we probably would have gained promotion to the next group.
“It is our dream that wheelchair tennis grows in this country and we are asking all stakeholders to support our cause to ensure that we resume to the summit of the sport on the continent,” Termena explained.