Every year, before the commencement of the annual ITF World Tour events in Nigeria, the local players are always eager to show that they can get past their foreign counterparts, but no matter how much efforts they put in, they end up on the losing side after the second round – most of the time.
Ahead of the 2019 edition of the three-legged ITF World Tour championships in Abuja, the players had sworn to give their best and even without having played any tournament (at least none on the circuit) prior to this event, they still believed in their abilities to do well.
But for all the preparations, it seemed as if the Nigerian players no longer know how to hit the balls. They looked quite lethargic most of the time, their rackets suddenly seemed heavy when up against the more sleek and suave foreign pros who (at least) had played about five World Tour Circuits before attending the one in Nigeria.
The only other way these guys can now prove that they are professional tennis players (at least in the eye of their colleagues) is by attending national competitions, but as at 6 May, 2019, none of such tournaments had been organized or confirmed by the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF).
This situation often further irks the players and gets them really unsettled when they’re up against their opponents, but there’s little or nothing their anger can do to help them get better. Therefore, they’re often asking when the first national competition of the year would be organized.
The NTF President, Engr. Dayo Akindoju, had frequently revealed the inability of the federation to tie down sponsors and dates for the national tournaments, but the players will not have any of those, as they believe the federation may not have done well to help them grow.
With about seven more months in 2019, and having played zero national championship in the first five months, the players will be feeling hard done by their inability to properly compete as they will be looking forward to the year-ending Lagos Open World Tour Circuit which is also likely to expose their lack of competitiveness.
The only saving grace at this time may then be the NCC Tennis League, but even that is not also ready as the organizers are yet to agree on a date for the event.
The players, before this time will still curiously want to know when they’re compete in their first national tournament of the tennis season.