For tennis followers and enthusiasts in Nigeria, the state of the racket game has dropped to a level where players have had to leave the country in search of ‘any’ tournament in neighbouring countries.
Such is the decay in the sport that the number of national tournaments dropped to a paltry two – the CBN Open and the Dala Hard Court championship – as many more players complained bitterly about the dearth of competitions to test their ability.
|Tombim Abuja Open sponsor sponsor, Edmond Ejoge (left) with Alhaji Kabiru Badams former president Nigerian Badminton Association. Photo: Ewaoche Ameh|
The Nigeria Tennis Federation, under the watchful eyes of Engr. Sani Ndanusa, continued to lament the non-availability of sponsors for the sport in the country, a situation which seems more peculiar to Nigeria, and the cries received a spark in 2015.
Mr. Edmond Ajoge, a passionate Abuja-based tennis lover, single-handedly sponsored the first ever edition of the Tombim Abuja Open, and vowed to ensure that the ITF Futures in the country increased from just two legs (The Governors Cup in Lagos) to about six in a year.
For two consecutive editions, Tombim Abuja Open continued, and in 2017, two more Futures were added – the Dayak and GSL Open.
Naija Tennis Special has obtained the pictures of the men who are behind the sponsorship of these two new ITF Futures, as they posed with fellow ‘giant killer’ Ajoge, during the first leg of the tournament in Nigeria.
|L-R: Edmond Ejoge, Dayo Akindoju and Bayo Okusanya, sponsors of the Tombim Open, Dayak and GSL Open Tennis Championships respectively. Photo: Ewaoche Ameh.|
Nigerian tennis is truly blessed to have these three ‘musketeers’ in the game. This way, we can win valuable points to compete on the circuits across the continent and other top tournaments of the world.