Engr. Ifedayo Akindoju, the president of the Nigeria Tennis Federation has reacted to the dismal performance of Nigerian players at the ongoing Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship, stating that the players gave their very best in the tournament.
No Nigerian player could defeat their foreign counterpart in the first round of the competition, with Christian Paul, the only player in the second round, emerging as a lucky loser to defeat Christopher Itodo, and zoom into the second phase of the competition.
The young players who got wild cards in the tournament also gave a good account of themselves, as they played against opponents who have been on the circuits for so many years and have garnered more experience over the years.
|Engr. Ifedayo believes that junior tennis players are the future of the sport in Nigeria.|
In a chat with Nigerian Tennis Live on Wednesday morning, Engr. Akindoju, hailed the players for putting in their best even though the results were not favourable, stating that the players from outside the country performed much better because of the exposure that they have more than the locals.
“And that is the exposure we are introducing to the junior players in the country with the wild card and other trainings we are putting in place for them,” Engr. Akindoju pointed out rightly.
“We are also working on the junior players seriously. When we identify a talent, we send them on different trainings and tournaments to get the required exposure that they need to compete against the best in the world.
“Tennis is a world class sport and the rules are the same everywhere, including the standard of play for specific tournaments, so we need our players to get used to this part and get better for it in the nearest future.
“As soon as we put all of these in place, it will not be out of place to see Nigerians start winning not just the Governor’s Cup, but other pro-circuits that they participate in; both home and abroad,” the ever-enthusiastic tennis administrator added.