UNITED States, France and 55 other countries have signed up for the 2019 Lagos Open Tennis Championships, which hold from October 7 to 20 in Lagos.
Other nations that beat the International Tennis Federation (ITF) registration deadline include United Kingdom (UK), Canada, Russia, Australia, Austria, Mexico, Germany, Ukraine, India, Italy, Japan, China, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Argentina and host- Nigeria. The two-leg tournament has $100, 000 as total prize money.
According to the world tennis ruling body, over 240 players made of 133 men and 107 women will slug it out at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club for one of the biggest prize money tournaments in Africa.
Japan’s Shuichi Sekiguchi will head the seeding in the men’s event as the 28-year-old is the highest ranked player rated 286 in the men’s ITF ranking.
Tunisia’s Skander Mansouri (341) and Frenchman Tom Jomby (404) are second and third seeds respectively. Also in the top seed list are Jomby’s compatriot – Calvin Hemery (561), Zimbabwe’s duo of Benjamin Lock (471) and Takanyi Garanganga (623) are also making a return to Lagos.
Joseph Imeh (1537) is the highest ranked Nigerian player in the men’s event and he is followed by Sylvester Emmanuel (1897).
The top three seeds in the women’s event are Italy’s Giulia Gatto-Monticone ranked 161 in the WTA ranking and she is followed by Bulgaria’s Aleksandrina Naydenova (218) and France’s Amandine Hesse (236).
Other foreign players making a return to Lagos are Ukraine’s Valeriya Strakhova (384), Bulgaria’s Julia
Terziyska (427), Austria’s Melanie Klaffner (612) and American Alexandra Riley (1126), Israel’s Ester Masuri and America-based Nigerian Adesuwa Osabuohien.
Nigeria will also be relying on the prowess of former junior sensation, Oyinlomo Quadre, as well as Sarah Adegoke, Blessing Anuna, Aanu Ayegbusi and Blessing Samuel in the women’s event.