The ITF World Tennis Tour will take its annual 2-week stop in the city of Lagos in less than a week, with some of the best players in the world looking to earn vital ranking points and a share of the total $100K prize money pot, as they continue their climb up the professional ladder.
As always, it will be two weeks of gripping tennis. However, before main draw action gets under way, let’s make a rundown of five things you probably didn’t know about the event.
Did you know?
1. The Lagos Open, alongside the M25+ events in Abuja, is the best ITF World Tennis Tour tournament in Africa out of the 104 tournaments on the African continent presently listed on the ITF website.
2. The Lagos Open had an abridged version in 2014, which was made a non-point winning tournament by the ITF. Only Nigerian players and a few others from around Africa competed. It was as a result of the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa. Nigeria’s Moses Michael emerged men’s singles winner, while Zarah Razafimahatratra of Madagascar won the women’s singles title, with Nigeria’s Sarah Adegoke finishing as runner-up.
3. The Lagos Open has not always been known as the Lagos Open. The event was known as the Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis since its inception in 2000, until it got a change of name in 2018. Tennis tournaments around the world are open to both professional and amateur players and as such, adopt the moniker “Open.” That’s what has been used in the naming of tournaments for a long time and it’s for the same reason the Lagos Open was named so.
4. Abdulmumin Babalola and Jonathan Igbinovia became the first Nigerian pair to win a title at the Lagos Open, with the duo claiming the men’s doubles title at the event in 2005. Two years later, Abdulmumin Babalola and Jonathan Igbinovia equalled that feat, when they teamed up to capture the men’s doubles title that year.
5. Zuzana Kucova has won the most singles title at the Lagos Open, with five. The Slovakian claimed the women’s singles title in the 1st leg in 2007, the 2nd leg in 2008, the 1st and 2nd legs in 2009, and the 1st leg in 2010. Kucova has always played her best tennis at the Lagos Open, as five of her eight ITF Tour-level titles have come in the Nigerian city.
The 2019 Lagos Open is live from the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan, from 7-20 October.