The press conference for the ITF World Tour in Abuja held on Friday, 5 April, at the National Tennis Centre in Abuja.

The presser was done to inform the general public about facts and information for the three-week annual event, which will hold from the 8-28 April in the nation’s capital.

The tournaments—the Tombim Abuja Open, the Dayak Tennis Championships and the GSL Open—are all sponsored by Nigerians in collaboration with the Nigeria Tennis Federation.

Tombim Services Limited, Dayak Nigeria Limited, and the Gladiator Systems Limited are all indigenous companies owned and run Nigerians, who are sponsoring the events.

IMG 20190405 WA0008

Dayo Akindoju, NTF President & sponsor of the Dayak Tennis Championships (L), and Edmond Ajoge, sponsor of the Tombim Abuja Open during the presser in Abuja today. Photo: Ewaoche Ameh

The Tombim Abuja Open, which is in its 5th edition, will be the opening tournament, and will hold from 8-14 April, the Dayak Tennis Championships, which is in its 4th edition will follow from 15-21 April, while the 3rd edition of the GSL Open will take place from 22-28 April.

However, it will be the first time that all tournaments will run under the ITF World Tennis Tour format which was introduced in March, 2017 and implemented this year.

Under this new format, the tournaments will be known as M25+, as they all male events only, and having a prize-money of $25,000 each with hospitality. (M denoting the gender; 25, the prize-money, and + denoting hospitality).

The tournaments will now have 5 ATP points up for grabs each week for the winner, 3 for the losing finalist, and one each for the semifinalists. Also, unlike previous events, the days have increased from 6 to 7, that is, Monday to Sunday, including qualifying rounds. The final for each competition will be played on Sunday instead of Saturday. The main draw will be a size of 32 with five rounds, and the qualifying draw will be 24, with 2 rounds.

According to the sponsors, the competition is borne out of a desire to provide opportunities for Nigerian players to earn vital ATP points and to attract some of the best up-and-coming players in the world to play in Nigeria.

IMG 20190405 WA0004

L-R: NTF Secretary-General, Mariam Akande, tournament director, Ikani Agabi, and Dayo Akindoju. Photo: Ewaoche Ameh.

As such, players from over 21 countries including, Venezuela, Russia, USA, Uzbekistan, Brazil, India, Argentina, South Africa, Croatia, Spain, Zimbabwe, Canada, Uganda, Togo, France, Moldova, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia, Germany, UK, have already entered to play.

Organizers have spent huge sums of money renovating the facilities and ensuring that the players are treated to world-class facilities. To this end, the organizers have repainted and repaired six of the tennis courts that will be used for the tournament; renovated and furnished the players lounge and the bathroom; installed a public address system, installed a gym and a clinic for the players.