Players excited as inaugural championship serves off in Lagos
There is a lot of excitement among top junior tennis players as the inaugural Zenith Bank “Next Generation” Junior Tennis Masters serves off in Lagos today at the National Stadium’s tennis centre.
The junior masters tournament is featuring the top eight players 18 years and under for both boys and girls.
“All the players are in town for the Masters while others who missed the mark are asking to be included. A Masters is a Masters and only the best, based on their performance in the last one year, can qualify,” Godwin Kienka, director of the International Tennis Academy, organisers of the tournament said.
“That is actually the whole idea. The juniors are going to take their training much more seriously and work really hard to qualify next year. There is no doubt that this tournament will help fast track the development process,” he added.
The eight boys invited for the Masters are Michael Oshewa (Boy’s 18 champion), Godgift Timibra, Stephen Augustine, Tochukwu Ezeh, Michael Ayoola, Emma Jebutu, Philip Abayomi and Gabriel Friday winner of the Boy’s 16 title at the CBN Junior Championship. Mathew Abamu the runner-up will standby as the alternate.
To slug it out in the girl’s category are Oyin Quadre, a semifinalist at the African Junior Championship Girl’s 16, Favour Moses, who won CBN Junior Championship, Omolade Aderemi, Omolayo Bamidele, Toyin Asogba, Kasara Adegboyega, Mariam Alli-Balogun, and Rebecca Ekpeyong. Oiza Yakubu, winner of the Girl’s 14 event at the CBN Juniors will serve as alternate.
The tournament, according to the organisers, will have the players divided into two round robin groups of four with the top two finishers playing a cross semifinals.
Matches start at 10.00 a.m. each day, including the finals on Saturday at the same venue.