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ITF Futures: Abuja set to come under the spotlight

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It promises to be three weeks of gripping tennis action as Nigeria’s capital, Abuja readies to play host to three ITF Futures championships – Tombim Abuja Open, Dayak Tennis Championship, and the GSL Open – billed to take place at the National Stadium, Abuja.

The events, which will draw players from around the world, will run from the 16th of April through to the 6th of May, 2018.

The Tombim Abuja Open holds from 16 April – 22 April, while the Dayak Championship will run from 23 April – 29 April. The GSL Open will round off a seemingly tennis festival from 30 April – 6 May.

Each of the tournaments has a $25,000 prize money, while the competition has 35 ATP ranking points up for grabs for each week. The winner of all three legs has the potential to move from not being ranked at all in the world, to being ranked in the top 500 in the world.

For the Nigerian Futures, home players have always had a history of not dominating the tournaments, but the tournament director, Ikani Agabi is hopeful for a better outing this time.

“Our players are very talented,” he said, when asked on what to expect from the home players. “This year, we’d hope that they can perform better than last year.”

According to the director, requests have been received from players in Kenya, Tunisia, Brazil, the United States, Britain, Germany, Czech Republic, and a host of other countries.

Home players will, however, have to compete for Wild Cards to enable them participate in the tournaments as the organizers are looking to make it as transparent as possible.

“We don’t want to favour players… We want to make it free and fair for everyone. So, we say let every Nigerian player who’s entitled to a wild card come and compete for it,” Agabi added.

Tennis fans will certainly have a feast on their hands as these players gear up to strut their stuff and go all out in search for glory.

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