The indecision by the sponsors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Open to fix a new date for the annual tennis championship has left many Nigerian tennis players frustrated, Nigerian Tennis Live can authoritatively report.
The CBN Open has been one of the most consistent national tournaments in Nigeria for about 40 years, and has helped the players in no small way during this period. But the inconsistency surrounding the 40th celebration of the championship has demotivated many players.
Nigerian Tennis Live had exclusively reported that the tournament might not hold in Lagos as had been the tradition for decades, and the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) confirmed this in its calendar for the year.
|Nigerians are not happy about not having a tournament to play for the first five months of the year.|
According to information made available to our correspondent, the tournament will be hosted in Abuja to herald the 40th year since the tournament began in Nigeria and this did not go down well with players from some quarters.
The players, however, gave up on the decision of the sponsors, and were expecting to travel from other parts of the country to the federal capital to play the tournament, but as at May 9, 2018, the date for the commencement of the tournament had yet to be communicated to the federation.
During a chat with the NTF president, Engr. Dayo Akindoju, on Tuesday, May 8, Nigerian Tennis Live correspondent sought to confirm if a date had been agreed, but the response was negative.
“They are yet to give us a new date for the tournament,” he said.
“With the way it is going, maybe it will hold at the end of May of June. But be assured that as soon as we get a date, you shall be the first to be informed,” Engr. Akindoju added.
This development has left the players, most of whom are yet to play competitive tennis as at May, in a really bad mood and they are seen to lack motivation.
“I don’t even know the difference between this new federation board and the former one,” a frustrated tennis player who pleaded anonymity, said.
“How can we call ourselves players and not have played a tournament in the year as at May? Press, you sef think am na!” the player blurted out in pidgin.
The players noted that the three-week long ITF Futures which ended over the weekend in Abuja, was majorly not to help them, because they lacked enough match practice prior to its commencement, and there was no way they would have performed up to expectation.
“Or how can I compete favourably against someone who has been playing competitions since the beginning of the year? Let’s be realistic, bro.
“If we had played about two tournaments before the Futures, our players would have still performed better than they did,” he said.
Another player called on the federation to work on getting sponsors for more tournaments as against waiting on the same sponsors every year.
“That way, we can have so many tournaments for the players and their competitiveness will not be in any form of doubt,” he noted.
Nigerian Tennis Live will keep tabs on the federation and ensure that the needful is done for the players to have something to smile about again.