Defending champions, Sylvester Emmanuel and Christy Agugbom, at the weekend successfully defended their men’s and women’s singles titles at the 30th Dala Hard Court Tennis Championship in Kano.
Emmanuel got the better of US-bound Moses Michael 7-6, 6-4 while Agugbom survived the threat of Blessing Samuel winning their nail-biting encounter 6-2, 6-7, 7-6.
A repeat of last year’s final and the third straight showdown of the top two Nigerian players in the final of a major championship lived up to expectations. In the end, it was a sweet revenge for Emmanuel following his loss to the Tombim-sponsored player at the year’s Central Bank of Nigeria Open in Lagos in June.
The Kaduna-based Emmanuel pocketed N800, 000 for his achievement while Agugbom got N500, 000.
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State pledged government’s continuous support for the tournament.
Mr. Ganduje was represented by former Nigeria Football Federation president, Ibrahim Galadima, who is the chairman of the newly-formed Kano State Sports Commission.
The tournament also got a big boost following the emergence of the Dangote Group as one of the major sponsors. A representative of Dangote Group, Danladi Hanga, pledged its support for the championship.
Dala Hard Court Tennis Chairman, Bashar Gumel, expressed appreciation to First Bank, Fidelity Bank and Kano Electricity Distribution Company, who all declared their unremitting support.
Nigeria Tennis Federation president, Sani Ndanusa, stated that the Federation is delighted at the coming on board of the Dangote Group into tennis stating that Nigerian tennis is bound for an enviable height going by the reputation of the Group.
“The Dangote Group is a global brand of high repute and by backing the Dala Hard Court Tennis Championship, they have demonstrated their desire to empower more youths across the country.
“Dangote’s involvement in tennis can only guarantee success for the game in Nigeria at regional, continental and international levels, and we are grateful for the privilege that they are associating with Nigerian tennis through this tournament,” Ndanusa submitted.