Nigeria: 240 players, 57 countries register for 2019 Lagos Open Tennis
By Taiwo Adelu
London, Sep 26, 2019 (AltAfrica) -The 19th edition of Lagos Open Tennis Championship, which holds from 7-20 October, 2019, is going to witness a large crowd of emerging tennis players across the world as no fewer than 57 countries will be presented at tournament this year.
Alternativeafrica.com reports that the annual Lagos Open, and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) World Tour, was known as the Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis since first edition in Year 2000 and changed to Lagos Open in the 2018 edition.
It is a tournament staged to celebrate the sitting Executive Governor of Lagos State since the government of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This year, the 19th edition, will be the first in the government of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
This year’s competition will witness an influx of foreign players to Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre, the city of Lagos, with 240 players registered as at the deadline of notice of withdrawal by the ITF on Tuesday, 24 September, 2019. One hundred and thirty-three (133) players will compete in the men’s singles and doubles events, while 107 players will play in the women’s singles and doubles.
Some of the countries to be represented at the tournament in Lagos, Nigeria include USA, France, Britain, Canada, Russia, Australia, Austria, Mexico, Germany, Ukraine, India, Italy, Japan, China, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, the host Nigeria and others.
Japanese Shuichi Sekiguchi and Italian Giulia Gatto-Monticone are leading the men and women’s categories going by their high rankings in both the ATP and WTA world rankings respectively.
28 years old Sekiguchi is the highest ranked player in the men’s category. He is ranked 286, while Gatto-Monticone is ranked 161 on WTA ranking. This year alone, the right handed (Double Handed Backhand) Japanese player has won three tournaments in the singles event; M25 Matsuyama M15 Wuhan and M25 Nonthaburi.
Italian Gatto-Monticone, born 18 November 1987, reached her highest WTA singles ranking of 154 in June this year, whilst her best doubles ranking was 200, which she achieved in October 2014. In May 2019, she made her Grand Slam debut at Roland Garros.
Tunisian Skander Mansouri who is on number 341 and French Tom Jomby (404) made the top three in the men’s category. Jomby is a regular face in the Lagos Open as well as compatriot Calvin Hemery (561). Zimbabwe’s Benjamin Lock (471) and Takanyi Garanganga (623) are making a return to Lagos.
The highest ranked Nigeria men player in this year’s competition is Joseph Imeh Ubon, who is ranked 1537 and followed by Sylvester Emmanuel (1897).
Aleksandrina Naydenova from Bulgaria (218) and Amandine Hesse from France (236) making the top three in the women’s category.
A good number of the women players are returning to Lagos this year. They include Valeriya Strakhova (384) from Ukraine, Julia Terziyska (427) from Bulgaria (427), Austrian Melanie Klaffner (612) and American Alexandra Riley (1126) , Israeli Ester Masuri and Nigerian-born American Adesuwa Osabuohien
Some of the registered Nigerian women players are Barakat Oyinlomo Quadre, Sarah Adegoke, Blessing Anuna, Aanu Ayegbusi and Blessing Samuel.
A total prize of $100, 000, ($50,000 men and women ($50,000) is at stake in the two weeks event. The tournament will be played at its traditional home, Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan, Lagos