The 2019 tennis season is already a done deal, but the memories from the year in review will not leave all the tennis stakeholders in a haste.
Unlike four previous seasons, there was no NCC Tennis League for the players, neither was there any addition to the number of tournaments which were competed for in 2018, but the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) seemed to have done enough to earn the praises of the tennis family.
Nigeria Tennis Live conducted a poll on the social media to find out what tennis followers and stakeholders think about the outgoing tennis season, and there were diverse opinions from the respondents.
Some were quite grateful to the NTF over the introduction of the first ever Junior ITF competition which lasted for two weeks and was won by Nigerians, both in the male and female categories.
Others were grateful to the federation for other things that made the year tick for them, but there were a few critics of the tennis governing body for their roles in the year under review.
Below are the comments accompanied by the respondents’ details:
Olaniyan Adeyemi Ayodeji wrote: “Honestly, what is important is comparing your yesterday and today. If you compare 2018 to this year obviously a lot of improvement have been made. The most appreciated to me is the recent gathering of coaches from all over the federation for a Coaches Education program at Abuja organised in conjunction with the ITF.
kudus to you guys, trusting you all for a better 2020.
Emmanuel Chukwuemeka Ezeh wrote: “Nigerian tennis federation for the year 2019 under review, has done exceedingly well to the entire tennis community. The first itf Jr circuit in Nigeria in the past twenty years took place this year. The seniors had both local and international and the coaches for the first time in decades feel recognized and appreciated. Going forwards it will make greater sense to hold itf futures tournaments at the back of local tournaments to help preparations of our players. And the state associations should be encouraged to host mini national tournaments with total price money and expenses below a million naira to help sharpen our players for international engagements. If possible states should be mandated to host these tournaments as a requirement for participation in national tennis programs like school sports and sports festivals.“
Willy Kari commented thus: “The president has really tried for the normal tennis but we in the wheelchair tennis he did nothing to improve our game and the reason is this wheelchair tennis in Nigeria did not have a single tournament of its own the only tournament wheelchair have which is CBN but it is a borrowed tournament the tournament belongs to the normal tennis I want to use this medium to let our federation president know that with wheelchair tennis Nigeria can play in Grand slam, with wheelchair tennis nigeria can participate in Paralympics so he should focus more on wheelchair tennis and give us six to seven tournaments next year wheelchair tennis and normal tennis go hand in hand with each other.“
Nnaji Ceasar Kingsley simply gave the NTF a 5Star rating while Lendi Ivan added Great Strides as her contribution.
A Twitter user simply identified by his handle @thedone1 tweeted: “ I think they’re doing better. With the Rainoil and Vemp championships in their second years. But there’s still a whole lot of improvement. Player welfare and exposure should be prioirity. Players shouldn’t be having price money issues at Vemp, it’s not nice.”
Regardless of these ratings by the Nigerian tennis stakeholders, a Ghanaian observer believes the NTF is much more effective than their Ghanaian counterparts.
The man identified as Ib Sulley wrote: “More active than that of Ghana.”
With the comments and feedback from the tennis observers and followers about the activities and otherwise of the NTF in 2019, it is believed that 2020 will be a much better and interesting year for the sport in Nigeria.