Tennis fans who throng the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club to watch the grand finale of the yearlong tennis league on Sunday, December 18, will be handsomely rewarded.
According to the organisers, the first 50 couples will be given branded umbrellas and several raffle draws for state-of-the-art android phones will be conducted in the course of the matches. All spectators are also expected to be given lunch and refreshing soft drinks.
“We are working to build a huge spectator and fan base for tennis and position the league as the most spectator friendly event in Africa. A large fan base should translate into side businesses for caterers, sports equipment vendors and other support services,” Godwin Kienka, director of the International Tennis Academy, coordinators of the event, said.
|Winners of last year’s championship, receiving their trophy after the award.|
“The NCC Tennis League like the world famous Davis Cup is an ideal family picnic event as you have, in this case, four matches of the highest level taking place on one court one after the other with team supporters at their vocal best. It’s a great atmosphere and a very good opportunity for parents to introduce their kids to the game of tennis,” Mr Kienka added.
The NCC Tennis Cup finals is featuring defending champions Team Tombim of Abuja and debutante Kaduna-based Team Offikwu. But, the tie will actually be a fight for supremacy between national champion Moses Michael of Tombim and the highest ranked Nigerian on the ATP Circuit – Sylvester Emmanuel.
Emmanuel is coming to the finals with a rich vein of form which saw him win the Dala Hard Court in November and playing a part in all four points Team Offikwu needed to upset Team Civil Defence, last year’s runner’s-up, in the Abuja semifinals.
Other players will also have to do their part to earn the N7 million winners purse. Christian Paul, the No.2 for Tombim will have to be at his best to beat a highly improved Emmanuel Idoko who upset former national champion Henry Atseye in the first round of the Dala Hard Court.
In the crucial Ladies’ singles, ‘giant killer’ Aanu Aiyegbusi is expected to re-enact her winning form against Sarah Adegoke although Team Offikwu is thinking of throwing in top junior, Oyin Quadri, just back from the ITF camp in Morocco as a joker.
Whatever tactics and strategy the two teams pull out, it is sure that the NCC Tennis League Cup finals will be one long, exciting and hard-fought battle.