The tournament director of the Tombim Abuja Open, Ikani Agabi has bemoaned a lack of enthusiasm Nigerian players have shown in respect to requests for wild cards for the ITF Futures championship which will take place in Abuja.
In a chat with TennisNG, Agabi stated that despite wild cards being available, no Nigerian player has requested for it as it should be the norm.
“We’ve had 20-30 requests from people overseas for wild cards, but no Nigerian player has applied for a wild card. So how do you give a wild card to someone who’s shown no interest in getting a wild card,” he said.”
“Because to get a wild card, you need to apply for it. You need to tell the organizers that I’m interested in playing this competition. Can I get a wild card? But we haven’t received any such requests from Nigerian players. So, how do we know Nigerian players want wild cards,” the tournament director stated, worryingly.
Mr. Agabi, however, revealed that in order to make a selection process for the home players transparent, there will be a competition few days to the commencement of the Futures tournament. According to him, it will also be done to determine the level of preparedness of a player.
“We have a competition on Thursday and Friday before the competition starts which is for the wild card.
“We don’t want to favour players… We want to make it free and fair for everyone,” Agabi added.
The first of the ITF Futures championship will be the Tombim Abuja Open, which will hold from 16 April – 22 April, while the Dayak Championship will come up immediately and will run from 23 April – 29 April. The GSL Open will round off a seemingly tennis festival from 30 April – 6 May.
Each tournament has a prize money of $25,000.