The International Tennis Federation, ITF, has confirmed that the 2015 Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship will hold from December 5 to 19.
The annual tennis tournament, whose 15th edition will hold this year, has attracted hundreds of international stars to Lagos, Nigeria since it became an ITF sanctioned competition.
The first edition was staged during the reign of Bola Tinubu as the Governor of Lagos State.
The tournament, which is jointly sponsored by First City Monument Bank, FCMB, and Etisalat Nigeria, is divided into two weeks, Futures 3 and 4.
According to the ITF, the first week (Futures 3) will be supervised by South African referee Iain Smith, while Futures 4 will be handled by another South African official, Anton Rens.
Both referees have been regular visitors to Lagos in the past Governor’s Cup editions.
Futures 3 will start with qualifying matches on the weekend of December 5 and 6 before the Main Draws of that week serves off on December 7 and ends on December 12, while Futures 4 starts immediately with another round of qualifying games with the grand finale of the 15th edition coming up on December 19 amidst fun at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan.
The incumbent Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, is expected to grace the finals of the tournament, the first to be staged since he assumed office in May this year.
The Secretary General of Nigeria Tennis Federation, NTF, Gloria Ekwempu, said Lagos and indeed Nigeria is ready for the competition, which was supposed to have been held in October.
According to her, all necessary preparations to host the array of foreign stars coming to Lagos for the tourney have been put in place.
“We’ll ensure that visas procurement of the players is easy at our various embassies across the world. We are ready to welcome the world stars to Lagos,” she said.
“On the part of our local players, they have been informed. As usual, their registrations have to be done online on the website of the ITF where they will pay necessary fees and all other documentations. We will be working with the Local Organising Committee, LOC, to ensure that we stage a memorable 15th Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship this year,” Ekwempu said.
The scribe further disclosed that the technical committee of the federation will soon meet to decide who gets the wildcards for the Main Draws of this year’s competition among the Nigerian players.
Total prize money of $80, 000 is at stake in the competition. The men’s winners in both Futures will pocket $30,000, while the women take home $50,000.