One of Nigeria’s top tennis players, Christian Paul, has warned tennis followers, enthusiasts not to expect any great performance from any Nigerian player at the ongoing Lagos Open International Tennis Championship.
The Abuja-based Paul who lost his second preliminary match in the qualifying series, told Nigeria Tennis Live that the players are not happy with the state of tennis in Nigeria, and cannot be expected to perform to their maximum capacity.
In a brief chat on the sideline of the ongoing World Tour tournament at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan, the Davis Cup player explained that he and his Nigerian counterparts have not played more than one tournament all year, and cannot therefore compete favourably at the same level as their foreign oppositions.
“My brother, Nigerian players cannot be prepared for this competition and perform the way people will be expecting.
“This year, the NCC League did not take place, it was the tournaments that helped us with match fitness all year round, but it didn’t happen this year.
“We played only one national tournament (the CBN Open) before this Lagos Open competition, how do you think we can perform optimally here?
“Nobody should expect any kind of miracle from any (Nigerian) player here, honestly,” the National Sports Festival gold medalist explained.
While also revealing his fitness was not at its peak coming into the championship, Paul, a former national junior star, noted that many Nigerian players are likely to be suffering the same fate.
“I believe many of the guys are, like me, not totally fit for the competition, but we just made efforts to come around,” he added.
The main draw eventually kick off on Wednesday morning after delays caused by incessant rainfall on Tuesday slowed down the pace of the competition.
Nigeria Tennis Live will be on ground to report happenings in the competition to our teeming followers worldwide.