By John Egbokhan
A member of the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF), Bala Yesufu has said that the recent visit of the celebrated Williams sisters, Venus and Serena can mark a turnaround for Nigerian tennis if stakeholders and sponsors pull their resources together for the good of players.
Speaking on sidelines of the exhibition match between the two sisters at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club in Onikan, which Venus won, Yesufu, who is the Public Affairs Manager (North) of Nigerian Breweries PLC, said it was possible for Nigeria to produce quality tennis stars if the enabling environment was in provided
Yesufu, whose reputation for stating things the way they are is not in doubt, urged authorities not to allow the objectives that made the Williams sisters to come to Nigeria to die a natural death, like other projects held in the past.
Noting that visit of the sisters, who between them have won 22 Grand Slam titles, was inspiring, Yesufu, who was once the project coordinator now-rested Heineken tennis Futures I and II, said that government’s indifference to other sports, was the major reason why sports development was lagging behind in the country.
According to Yesufu, “we are happy to have received them and it is also inspirational for our youths. It will rekindle people’s interest in tennis and also bring up interest in some people who have seen them, like the kids who took part in the tennis clinic and those who watched them in the exhibition match.
“We feel very satisfied, impressed and we believe that if the sisters can visit again, it will assist us to develop tennis. But I hope that this project would be sustained to ensure that players become better players.