The rankings for African Tennis players released this week by the Confederation of African Tennis, CAT showed that no Nigerian player made it to the top 20 on the log.
Naija Tennis Special checks on the official website of the tennis body www.cattennis.com showed that the highest placed Nigerian, Kehinde Alade, was ranked a joint 39 with several players from other parts of the continent.
|Kehinde Alade, Nigeria’s highest placed player on the recent Confederation of African Tennis, CAT rankings|
World’s number 17 player, Kevin Anderson led the pack of the top five African players followed by Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri, Mohammed Safwat placed third while Garanganga Takanyi of Zimbabwe occupies number four spot. Former Lagos Governor’s Cup Tennis participant, Sabry Sherif of Egypt made up the top five players in Africa.
Nigeria’s number one player, Clifford Enosoregbe, Shehu Lawal, Christian Paul, Joseph Imeh and Sanni Adamu are the other Nigerians in the top 50.
In the female category, no Nigerian player made it to the top 10 in Africa as the top spots were dominated by South Africans and former Governor’s Cup players.
Channelle Sheepers, Channele Simmonds both from South Africa and Zarah Razafimahatratra of Madagascar, all of whom have played at the Lagos Governor’s Cup Championship, form the top 10 female tennis players on the continent according to the ranking.
When Naija Tennis Special contacted, Benson Ishicheli, one of the national coaches this morning, he disclosed that the ratings could get worse for the Nigerians if they fail to attend any ITF Circuit before the year ends.
The non-playing Davis Cup Captain of team Nigeria to the last World Team Cup in Egypt, noted that the absence of points for this year’s Governor’s Cup is likely to further affect the rankings of the Nigerian players.
According to Ishicheli, “by next year, they will not be on that list again if they do not play any ITF Circuit before this year ends. I’ve advised them to put in for an ITF tournament coming up in Togo in December. It is a Futures 1 & 2 tournament just like our Governor’s Cup and it will afford them the opportunity to rake in points if they do well.
“It is only unfortunate that we have not been able to play any top circuit and as far as I know, it will keep affecting our rating. It does not mean that our players are bad, their inability to play Circuits may just be our undoing.”