At a time when most Nigerian players were struggling for ATP points and match fitness at the ongoing F1-3 in Nigeria, Henry Atseye, a former national champion, decided to tow another path; the officiating aspect of tennis.
The former Central Bank of Nigeria Open winner made his debut as a line umpire in one of the matches during the Dayak Tennis Championship in Abuja and followed it up with other matches.
Atseye looked as focused with the officiating as he appeared on court when he was playing, during the match where he officiated. He also looked excited about the new phase of his tennis career.
|Atseye officiating during the match between Ireland-based Adebola Obasoto and Emmanuel Audu.|
After one of the matches, Nigerian Tennis Live correspondent caught up with the Governor’s Cup quarter finalist, and asked what he was up to; whether he was dumping active tennis for officiating or if he should still be expected back on the court as a player.
“Same way I’ve been playing, I just felt like acquiring more knowledge in the game of tennis. It’s not just about playing, but to know the rules in tennis,” he said.
Asked if he would dump active tennis for officiating, the Abuja-based tennis star who captained Team Tombim to win the inaugural NCC Tennis League in Lagos, explained: “I had to get myself involved in this ITF officiating. That’s all I am doing for now, not like I’m leaving playing for officiating.
“I am still playing actively and will not lose my chances of playing and winning more tournaments for officiating. But I want to grab more confidence on the court and understanding what the players feel when they think a call has gone against them and all.”