Ahead of main draw action at the 2019 CBN Senior Open in Abuja, the President of the Nigeria Tennis Federation, Engr. Dayo Akindoju reveals that the wildcards for the tournaments will mostly be given to players who are transiting from the junior circuit to the senior’s, as well as those with “genuine cases.”
“There are a couple of junior players that are graduating into the seniors, that will be the priority that we will give wildcards to,” Akindoju said.
“The ladies have a draw of 32, so they have 4 wildcards. For me it should go to kids transiting from junior to senior and some other genuine cases. There’s a case of a former top-10 player who went to have a baby and she’s back just like Serena Williams. That will also be considered.”
“For the male, there are 8 wildcards because it’s a draw of 64. The priority too will remain junior players that have done very well and are transiting into the senior tour.”
“Barakat Oyinlomo will get a wildcard because she is also transiting from junior to senior. She is one of our most promising players in the Centre in Morocco,” the President added.
Barakat Oyinlomo Quadre, aged 16, has been at the High Performance Centre in Casablanca, Morocco since the start of the season. In April, she won her biggest career title at the ITF Junior Tennis Club de Megrine- a Grade 3 tourney in Tunisia. That propelled her into the top 200 on the ITF Junior Rankings and also saw her ranked as No.2 in Africa.
Also, three of the four semi-finalists in the girls category of the recently-concluded Zenith Bank ‘Next Gen’ Masters—Omolade Aderemi, Omolayo Bamidele, who won the category, and Favour Moses—are on the NTF rankings, so they can get in via the main draw or the qualifiers. Jumai Mohammed, who was also a semifinalist, may get a wildcard.
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Jebutu who finished as runner-up in the boys category at the Zenith Masters isn’t on the rankings list, but could also get a wildcard.
The CBN Open is live from the National Tennis Centre in Abuja from 20 June – 29 June. Thursday, the 20th is for arrivals, qualifiers will hold from Friday – Sunday, while main draw action serves off on Monday, 24th.