The maiden edition of Lagos Country Club Invitational Tournament is expected to serve as a warm up for the upcoming African Junior Tennis Championship, AJTC.
The tournament which will feature about four of Nigeria’s representative to next month’s ITF/CAT Championship billed for Tunis, Tunisia will will hold from 2-6 March at the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja.
The tournament which will be in three categories –Under10, Under12 and Under 14- will help preparation Nigeria, who emerged the champions of the West & Central Africa at the qualifiers held in Togo in January.
|Emerging youngster, Oyinlomo Quadri, will represent Nigeria at the African Junior Tennis Championship in Tunisia next month|
Oyinlomo Qaudri, who was the only player to win two gold medals in the qualifier in Lome following her triumph in the two-phase event, will be joined by Martins Abamu and Michale Oshewa, who are also on the train to the Mediterranean country.
Serena Teluwo, Ololade Holmes, Reya Holmes and Filippo Trombi are some of the up-and-coming stars that are expected to light up the event.
“It is important for our junior players to play regular tournament if they really want to be superstars in the sport, Paul Moses of the MP Tiger Tennis, organizers of the tournament said.
“It is on record that the likes of Serena and Venus Williams as well as the Sharapovas of this world played up to 300 tournaments by the time they were 12. How many of our players in that age category have played up to 20 tournaments?” Moses, a UK-certified coach queried, while revealing plans to hold the event quarterly.
National Junior Coach, Mohammed Ubale, lauded the tournament and its organisers, stating that tournaments like this are needed for the youngsters’ development, especially as it precedes an international event.
In an interview with Naija Tennis Special on Monday, Ubale explained that, “I am hearing about the tournament for the first time, however, it is really going to help the players with their development.
“The federation is short of funds to prepare the team for the AJTC coming up next month. But if there is a good platform like this to give the players a competitive atmosphere before the tournament, it is laudable.”
President, Nigeria Tennis Federation, NTF Engr. Sani Ndanusa also commended the initiative, adding that it will help the Nigerian players’ cause to excel in Tunisia due to the fact the AJTC will hold on clay court.