With less than 3 weeks to the start of the ITF World Tour events in Abuja, we make a rundown of things you probably didn’t know about the Tombim Abuja Open.
Well, you know the Tombim Open is the first of the three ITF World Tour events in Abuja, but here are some lesser known facts about the $25,000 hard-court men’s event.
1. It didn’t start with a prize-money of $25,000
Among the biggest in terms of prize-money tournaments hosted in Nigeria, the Tombim Abuja Open is one event where players from all over the world come to earn big. But it didn’t kick off with such a prize pot. For its inaugural edition, it had a prize-money of $15,000. It however, increased in its second edition to what it is currently, and is expected to keep growing.
2. It was the first ITF World Tour event hosted in Abuja
In May, 2015, the inaugural edition of the Tombim Abuja Open kicked off at the National Tennis Centre in Abuja. It held for two weeks, and had a total prize-money of $30,000 ($15K for each). It was the first ITF World Tour event in Abuja.
3. Matija Pecotic won the first two editions… without dropping a set
In 2015, Matija Pecotic posted a remarkable run, triumphing in both weeks of the Tombim Open, without dropping a single set. 10 straight wins. 20 consecutive set wins. Sensational stuff from the Croatian.
4. Mohamed Safwat is the first and only African to have won the tournament
In 2016, Mohamed Safwat of Egypt became the first, and til date, only African player to win the Tombim Abuja Open, doing so in the second week of the event in April, after he defeated Bosnia’s Setkic Aldin 6-3, 4-2(ret) in the final.
5. João Menezes is the youngest champion
In 2018, at the age of 21, Brazil’s João Menezes became the youngest Tombim Abuja Open champion, when he defeated Markus Eriksson of Sweden to win the men’s singles title.
This year’s Tombim Open will hold from 8-14 April at the National Tennis Centre, Abuja.