TENNIS: NTF Offers $100,000 in Prize Money For 2019 Lagos Open

The Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) has released its programme of events for the 2019 season and it features a number of activities for players, officials and staff of the federation.

The programme which is a signpost of the federation’s plans for the year could still be amended as according to the NTF, a number of tournaments are still being planned, which if approved, would also be added to the 2019 calendar.

The 2019 tennis season served off in January with Nigeria participating in the ITF/CAT West and Central Africa Junior Individual & Team’s qualifying event in Lomé, Togo from the 7th – 15th of January.

While no activities are planned for February, there are a number of events lined up in March starting with the 3rd edition of the ITF/CAT 12 & Under West & Central Africa Junior Team’s Competition which is billed to serve off in Benin Republic from 6th – 10th March. Next up will be the ITF/CAT Africa Junior Tennis Championships U-14, to be held in South Africa from the 24th to the 28th. Also planned for March is a course for officials in Abuja from the 21st to the 24th which will be followed by a coaching course in Lagos from 24th to the 3rd of April.

In April, Abuja will play host to some of the top ranked players on the ITF World Tour for three weeks as they compete for honours and ranking points in three different tournaments. A total prize money of $75,000 will be up for grabs at the Tombim Open, the Dayak Tennis Championships and the GSL Open from the 7th to the 28th in the nation’s capital. Nigeria will also be represented in the African Junior Tennis Championships which will take place in Tunisia from the 9th to 14th.

Another coaching course is planned for Enugu from the 14th to the 24th while an Annual General Meeting (Africa) is slated for the 24th to the 26th at a yet to be determined venue.

The 41st Central Bank National Open will hold in May from the 9th to 18th at a yet to be decided venue while a board meeting of the NTF has also been fixed for the same month with the date and venue to be announced in due course.

The 1st Africa Beach Games is billed to commence in the month of June from the 14th to the 23rd in Sal, Cape Verde and the NCC Tennis League will also serve off in the same month.

July promises a bouquet of tennis action with the African Games and Davis Cup scheduled for Morocco and Kenya respectively. The ITF World Junior Tennis Tour will berth in Abuja from 15th to 20th July with the ITF/CAT West and Central Africa 12 & Under Competition pencilled for the month at a yet to be announced date and venue.

Abuja features prominently in the federation’s plan and the nation’s capital will play host to the 2nd edition of the Vemp National Open Championship in August, while the one week ITF U-18 event and the AJC 12 & Under final will both take place in Cairo, Egypt.

The 2-week ITF West & Central Africa U-18 event will be staged in Benin Republic /Togo in September while the National Youth Games will take centre stage in Ilorin from the 6th to the 16th. The ITF Annual General Meeting is also slated for September.

In October, the prestigious $100,000 prize money 19th Lagos Open will be the cynosure of all eyes as the world’s best players converge on Onikan from the 4th to the 19th to vie for honours and ranking points. Lagos will also play host to a board meeting of the NTF on the 19th after which the maiden edition of the FCT Open serves off in Abuja from the 24th to the 2nd of November.

Kano will play host to the Dala Hard Court Tennis Championships in the month of November which would also be the month for the 1st edition of the TMC Tennis Major slated for Abuja. The ITF/CAT U-14 & U-16 Tennis Championship will also be decided in November.

In the last month of the year, an Umpire Seminar/Annual General Meeting will kick off events for the month on the 1st of December in Lagos. The Play Your Age 12, 14 & Under Tournament will hold in Abuja in December and the year’s final board meeting is scheduled for Lagos. The season ending 3rd edition of the Rainoil Open in Lagos signals the end of competition for the 2019 season while the NTF Award Night slated for Abuja will mark the end of all federation’s activities for the year.