By Victor Okoye
No fewer than 250 players are set to compete for a share of ₦6.5 million in prize money in the VEMP National Open Tennis Championship, Organisers said on Tuesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the championship is being bankrolled by VEMP Limited, with ₦3.25 million being the total prize money for the men’s and ₦3.25 million for the women’s events.
The national open which is being organised in conjunction with the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF), is expected to serve-off from Sept. 24 to Oct. 2 at the National Tennis Centre, Package “B”of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.
Speaking ahead of the tournament, Chairman Caretaker Committee of the NTF, Ifedayo Akindoju said the tournament players from across the country will battle for the ultimate prize in four categories.
“The categories include; men’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s singles and women’s doubles.
“There will be three days of qualifiers for men which are in a round of 64, while that of women will be round of 32 with ITF bronze-badge referee, Saidu Musa as tournament director.
“The main draw for men and women is 32, while the men’s double will also be a round of 16 draws and the women’s double will be a round of 16,” he said.
NAN also reports that no fewer than 12 outdoor courts will be used for the games as Slazenger has been selected as the official ball of the tournament.
Akindoju commended VEMP Limited for their great contributions towards the development of Tennis in the country.
“We want to commend the efforts of VEMP Limited for their contribution to Tennis in the country.
“The third edition was supposed to hold in 2020 but it couldn’t due to scheduling issues, but we are glad that the game can go on this year,” he said.
He noted that the tournament would be guided by the rules established by the International Tennis Federation and the Code of Conduct of the NTF, adding that players were expected to register on the site.
“The players are to provide their proper means of identification; national identity card, driver’s lincence, international passport or voters’ card.
“We have also put up measures to ensure that COVID-19 protocol is observed throughout the duration of the tournament,” he said.
The second edition of the VEMP Open in 2019 saw both Sylvester Emmanuel and Oyinlomo Quadre emerged champions in the men’s singles and women’s singles respectively.
Both players are expected to defend their titles as the tournament gets underway from Sept. 24 in Abuja. (NAN)