Hundreds of players; different countries; two weeks; one city- the Lagos Open International Tennis Championship is set to take centre stage as the ITF Pro Circuit prepares to take a two-week stop in Africa’s largest city, Lagos.
The Lagos Open, formerly known as the Governor’s Cup, will take place from 1 October to 13 October at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan, where it has played host to the event, save once, since its first edition in 2000.
The tournament will be staged in back-to-back weeks with the men’s and women’s draw attracting $25,000 each. Known as one of Nigeria’s foremost tennis competitions, the Lagos Open has been graced by some of the most talented youngsters in the world, who have gone on to become global phenomena.
Amongst them are current world No.6, Elina Svitolina, who was champion in 2011; Indian superstar, Sania Mirza, who won the third edition in 2003; Croat sensation, Borna Coric, who clinched the title in 2013, and Great Britain Fed Cup captain, Anne Keothavong, who won the title in 2005.
Qualifying rounds for the first week will hold Saturday, 29 September and Sunday, 30 September, while main draw action serves off on Monday, 1 October through to Saturday, 6 October.
The singles will be a draw of 32, while the doubles will be 16.
Switzerland’s Conny Perrin, who’s currently ranked 149th in the world, will enter into the tournament as the highest ranked player. The 27-year-old won the women’s singles of the 2nd leg in 2016 and 2017 and will bid to defend her title over the fortnight.
Meanwhile, in 2017, Israel’s Deniz Khazaniuk, who is likely to be seeded second, won the singles title of the first leg and reached the final of the second leg. She will now seek to keep up her impressive performances when this year’s edition gets underway in Onikan. Also, with the tenacity of 13-time ITF winner and last year’s quarterfinalist, Valeriya Strakhova, the women’s field is sure to be as gripping and electric as it has always been.
In the men’s field, four-time ITF champion, Tom Jomby of France as well as Zimbabwe’s Benjamin Lock, who also has four ITF titles to his name, will lead the pack.
Nigeria’s No.1, Joseph Imeh, the sensational Sylvester Emmanuel, and Christian Paul are among Nigerians listed in the qualifying draws of the event.
The Lagos Open has always been a stepping stone for players to move up the professional ladder. Last year’s champion in both legs of the men’s singles, Pedja Kristin of Serbia has now moved up the rungs of professional tennis to compete in the Challenger Series and occasionally, on the ATP main tour.
This year’s tournament will produce new champions and also, enable some reassert their dominance. And for the fans all over the world, it promises to be a fortnight of exhilarating tennis!
Tickets for the two-week tennis fiesta can be obtained HERE.