Facts have emerged on how fervent and experienced Nigerian tennis coach, Moses Paul, was honored by the London Tennis Association (LTA).
The man fondly called MP Tiger, because of his tennis foundation, is currently in the United Kingdom on visitation, and has shared with Nigeria Tennis Live how much honor he got from the LTA.
Even though he has had a long-standing relationship with the London Tennis Association, Paul noted that he was shocked when he received their text as they learnt he would be in England.
In a brief chat with Nigeria Tennis Live, he said: “I’ve had this long term relationship with the London Tennis Association (LTA) for a very long time, right from when I was playing juniors.
“So, they used to invite me, I go to England, play competitions, I’ve done a lot of nationals in England. Some I won, some I lost in semis.
“I’ve always had this contact with them so much that when I transited from playing to coaching, they knew. They are aware of all my programmes in Nigeria. I’ve taken players there, like Oyinlomo, Serena Teluwo, they’ve all been there as well.
“They’ve done a lot for me and have always been supporting me, you know. So, I’m really grateful for everything they have done for me”.
On how he got invited for the exhibition match which turned out to be a tour and a ‘roll of honor’ trip eventually, MP Tiger noted that his hosts were excited to have heard he would be in town.
“When they heard I was coming to England, I told them I was coming, they were excited and said it would be nice for us to have some fun and play some exhibition matches, do some tour.
“The reception was something I didn’t expect, to be honest. Because I was really shocked when they texted me and said that to me.
“I also have this man there at the LTA, Mr. Patrick, he is my major contact there. It was a great experience for me, what they did.
“They celebrated me, it was something I didn’t expect,” he said quite enthusiastically.
For someone who is not an active tennis player, and who seldom travels to watch grand slam events, it was indeed an honor to have been taken to the players’ changing room.
The Nigerian coach was not only taken to the players’ changing room, but to where his favourite player, Carlos Alcaraz, changed the last time he played a tournament at Wimbledon.
“Right from my entrance into the Wimbledon Arena, the way they welcomed me, asked me who my favourite player is, I told them (Carlos) Alcaraz, it used to be (Rafael) Nadal.
“They said they would not allow me change in the regular guests’ changing room, so they took me to the players’ changing room, to the changing room Alcaraz used during his last tournament there, and that was where they asked me to change.
“It was a really a great honour for me, you know, because this seems to me like they’ve been following me right from the juniors,” a visibly emotional and grateful Coach Paul told Nigeria Tennis Live.
Beyong being honored in London, though, the coach believes it is now time to see how Nigeria can benefit from the recognition.
He said: “They were very happy for me because they’ve been monitoring the programmes I’ve been doing in Nigeria. They follow me, they see everything I’ve been doing.
“They know the players I’m currently working with, the likes of Alisha, Daniel Adeleye also, I mentioned him to them, you know. A lot of other players that I’m working with, I mentioned to them.
“So, my goal now is to use that influence to impact into Nigerian tennis. That’s my next step now, and I pray God will see me through it, amen!”