Nigeria Tennis Live

Mr. Ijaola BJK Cup

Kehinde Ijaola Returns From BJK Cup Assignment In Lithuania, Shares Experience

Nigeria’s highly-rated umpire, Kehinde Ijaola, has just returned from Lithuania, where he was on assignment at the Billie Jean King Cup event.

The former president of the Nigeria Tennis Umpires Association (NTUA) was a chair umpire for the six days he spent in Vilnius, Lithuania, venue of the Europe/Africa World Group II event.

After his return to Nigeria from the tournament which held from 8-13 April, 2024, he told Nigeria Tennis Live that having a Nigerian umpire on that king of big stage means a whole lot to our country.

According to him: “It means we’re not lagging behind in officiating, and when it comes to Africa in terms of officiating, Nigeria is at the forefront.

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“For ITF to consider an official from Nigeria to go to Europe to do Billie Jean King Cup Group II is something that’s really commendable for us.

“Three African officials were there, one from Tunisia, one from Egypt and myself from Nigeria”.

He revealed that despite his years in officiating, he still had lessons to pick from the visit to Lithuania, noting that it was a really good experience for him.

Mr. Ijaola BJK Cup

“A lot of lessons were learnt. I know that to go for this type of tournament, you have to speak their language. Learnt it within a few days, to be able to make announcements.

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“We were sent the Lithuanian language and when we were on chair we announced in English and in their language.

“Billie Jean King herself was there, she came all the way from the United States for the event,” Ijaola explained.

Nigerians will be looking forward to seeing other umpires on bigger stages in the coming months as other grand slam events and the Olympics take centre stage.



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