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CBN pledges continuous support for tennis

The 32nd edition of the annual Central Bank Senior Men and Women Open Tennis Championship ended in Lagos penultimate Saturday with last year’s runner-up, Sunday Emmanuel emerging as the Men’s singles champion.

Playing in the finals on Saturday, Sunday Emmanuel defeated hard fighting Henry Atseye 7-6, 6-2, to emerge victorious thus making up for last year’s defeat in the same finals. He got the N600,000 star cash prize plus a giant trophy for his effort.

In the women singles category, top seed, Fatimah Abinu, who is the defending champion, successfully defended her title by beating upcoming Junior player, Aanu Aiyegbusi in two straights 6-1, 7-5 to lift the women singles title and pocketed the   N400,000 prize money plus a giant trophy; while Anu Aiyegbusi got N300,000 runners-up price.

What  Sunday Emmanuel gained in the men’s single event could not be sustained in the men’s doubles event as his partnership with Abdumumuni Babalola  could not contain the fireworks of the pair of Shehu Lawal and Candy Idoko who defeated them 6-1,1-0 retired in the final  to lift the  men’s double trophy.

The women’s double title was won by victorious Fatimah Abinu who paired with Omotayo Ibrahim to defeat Blessing Samuel and Christy Agugbom, beating them in two straight sets of 6-2,6-2 to lift the trophy and smiled home with the N150,000 cash prize set aside by the Central Bank Of Nigeria for the ladies doubles winners.

In his address during the closing ceremony, the Governor of Central Bank, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi , who was ably represented by Faruk Garko, a Director in the Governor’s office expressed satisfaction for the large turnout of tennis players at this year’s championship as over 400 tennis players actually registered for the championship which lasted for eleven days.

That got to show the type of interest and dedication the players have for central Bank Open Senior Tennis Tournament. It also indicates that the tournament has come to stay in the country. And for their determination to ensure that new talents are discovered and developed quickly, the Governor informed that the Central Bank has since 2007 introduced the CBN Junior Boys and Girls Tennis Tournament to serve as feeder to the senior men and women open tournament.

Mallam Sanusi however reaffirmed Central Bank’s commitment for continuous sponsorship of the tournament on annual basis as part of their contribution for the promotion and development of tennis in Nigeria. He thanked the Nigeria Tennis Federation for mobilising tennis players this much and providing all the logistics for the successful hosting of the annual championship.


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