The cream of Nigerian tennis will be in Abuja this weekend for the second semifinals of the Nigeria Communication Commission Tennis League which is offering a record N11 million in prize money.
The first semifinal which took place in Enugu was a cliff-hanger with only two points separating winners Team Civil Defence and Team Ogun in the final mixed doubles match which ended 3-6, 6-2, 10-8.
Now all eyes and ears are on Abuja where Team Tombim featuring Lagos Governor’s Cup winner, Moses Michael; Christian Paul, gold medalist at the last sports festival and Sarah Adegoke ranked No.2 in Nigeria, are lined up to take on Team Kalotari from Port Harcourt.
Team Kalotari from Port Harcourt also has an array of talents led by former national No.1 and current doubles champion Sunday Maku.
Maku, winner of the doubles title at the CBN Senior Open this year is backed by Thomas Otu, CBN Senior Open singles champion, Sylvester Emmanuel, winner of the Ikoyi Club Senior Masters and Bala Musa.
The team also has two top 10 ladies – Osariemen Airhunwhunde, who represented Nigeria at the All Africa Games and Aanu Aiyegbusi.
While many tennis followers are looking forward to an even tighter and more exciting encounter than was witnessed in Enugu, Maku who is captain of Team Kalotari says playing in Abuja does not confer any advantage on Team Tombim.
“The pressure is on Team Tombim because we are playing in Abuja and on their ground. I do not think there is any home advantage in tennis. If there was, Tim Henman would have won Wimbledon several times.” Maku said, referring to the British tennis star who reached the semifinals of the great Grand Slam event several times but never reached the finals.
The match will take place at the tennis courts of the National Stadium Package B starting at 10 am prompt on Saturday and Sunday.
The order of play for Saturday has two men’s singles followed by the ladies singles and the men’s doubles.
To attract sports lovers to the matches, NCC is offering refreshments to all spectators and organizing a raffle draw for state of the art smart phones.