Considering his age and present tennis ranking, one may look at Adebola Obasoto as one who does not know what he is saying, but the Ireland-based 17-year-old Nigerian tennis wizkid believes he can be the best in the world before he becomes 22 years old.
He also noted in this EXCLUSIVE interview with Nigerian Tennis Live, that he is eyeing Futures tournaments in Nigeria starting from 2018.
|Adebola Obasoto displays some trophies that he won recently.|
When did you actually start playing tennis?
I have started tennis since I was five years old was introduced to the game by my parents whose support has gotten me this far.
Could you list some of the tournaments you have participated in?
I have played a lot of tournaments both in Ireland and in UK, also around the European countries, that I have lost count already.
I was number one in Ireland U16 as at last year.
Have you ever been to Nigeria?
Even though I was born in Nigeria, I cannot remember staying in the country because I have been in Ireland since I was 1 year old.
I have represented Ireland in a three-nation tournament when I was 12. My parents always talk about how they wanted me to play and represent my root. My patents have made a lot of attempts to get me to the Nigerian team as well, but this has not happened yet.
So to answer your question, my parents really want me to play for and represent Nigeria to show that I am proud of my heritage; this will soon happen consistently, I believe.
|17-year-old Adebola Obasoto has big dreams for his tennis career.|
What do you think of the Nigerian players you have met so far?
Nigerian players are very good technically. I believe if they have all the kinds of opportunities we have in Europe, they will be even better than Europeans.
Initially I was not happy about the idea of going to represent Nigeria because of what we always read in the news about how they don’t care about their players but my parents told me continually, that I should not believe in all that is written in the media.
When I met Adetayo, Oyinlomo and Bulus in Cotonou, I developed more interest and am ready to come at any time they call me to.
What is the difference between Nigerian and Irish tennis?
To be fair, I really cannot say the difference in both countries until I finally come to Nigeria to play.
|The youngster also hailed the Nigerian players he met at the junior ITF circuit in Benin Republic and Togo recently.|
No. 1 U16, No. 5 U18. Will be coming from next year to play Futures tournaments and any time I get invited.
What’s your ambition with tennis? Do you go to school?
Yes I do go to school in England and my ambition is to become one of the best tennis players in the world.
How soon can you achieve this?
To achieve this, I will need a financial support from a sponsor. By next year, I want to start playing future to start building my pro ranking. This involves a lot of financial commitments because I need to travel a lot to play tournaments.
Raphael Nadal was my formal idol because I have close relation with him when I was in tennis academy in Spain.
|The youngster displays another tournament he won during one of the tournaments he participated in.|
In how many years, starting from 2018, do you think you can become the world’s greatest tennis player?
I am just 17 now, I am getting proper training in my academy in Bolton, UK. If there is fund, I will go into full training and start playing futures. I could achieve my aim before reaching the age of 22 year.
Was there any point you thought of quitting the game of tennis?
No, but my parents wanted to because they have invested a lot and there is no any support from anywhere and the more I grow up, the more it become more expensive. They have been spending on my tennis since age 5 up till today. It cost them a lot when they sent me to Tennis Academy in Mallorca when I was 13. They brought me back after almost 2 years when they could not cope with the money.
What’s your favourite Nigerian meal?
Egusi soup with dry fish.