The pre-tournament press conference for the 3rd edition of the Rainoil Open held at the Lagos Country Club in Ikeja on Tuesday, 26 November.
The presser was done to inform the general public about facts and information for the week-long national tournament, which will have its main draw action kick off on Monday, 2 December.
The event is sponsored by Rainoil Limited, which is an integrated downstream oil and gas company. A prominent player in the Nigerian industry, the company’s operations span across the downstream value chain i.e. Petroleum Product Storage, Haulage/Distribution and Retail Sales.
Rainoil Limited was incorporated in November 1994 and commenced business as a petroleum products marketing company in May 1997.
The Group Managing Director, Mr. Gabriel Ogbechie, who was represented by Mrs. Godrey Ogbechie, the Group Executive Director, Rainoil Limited, said the collaboration with the Nigeria Tennis Federation, the Lagos Country Club and other well-meaning people is to see how they can produce a Grand Slam winner from Nigeria.
“We believe with what we are doing now and putting into the game of tennis, we are investing and hopefully very soon we will reap the fruits of our labor,” Mrs. Ogbechie told newsmen.
Last year, the men’s singles winner, Joseph Imeh received N500,000 in prize money, while the women’s singles champion, Blessing Samuel got N400,000. The organizers have now announced that they’ve bridged the gap in prize-money between the men and women, as “that’s what is obtainable in the world.”
“I’m proud to announce that we increased the prize money for the women’s winners, so that we can try to bring it as close as possible to what the men are getting, because that is what is obtainable in the world,” Mrs. Ogbechie, on behalf of the Group Managing Director, said.
The event, which will be played on clay this year, will see players battle it out for top honours and a share of the N5.1million total prize-money in four different categories – the men’s and women’s singles as well as the men’s and women’s doubles. The men’s singles draw size increased from 32 in the first year to 64 last year, while the women’s increased from 16 in the first year to 32 last year. The men’s doubles has a draw size of 32, while the women’s doubles, which was added last year, has a draw size of 16.
Qualifying action in both the men’s and women’s singles will begin on Friday, 29 November – Sunday, 1 December, while main draw action gets underway from Monday, 2 December – Sunday, 8 December, at the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja, Lagos.