A month after playing host to a $100,000 ITF Pro Circuit event, the city of Lagos will come under the spotlight as the Rainoil Open Tennis Championship, a national tournament, prepares to take centre stage within the coastal city.
The Rainoil Open which is in its second edition will be played on hard court for the time as the organizers have chosen to move away from splendorous dirt of the clay court this year.
Henry Atseye won the title last year and will certainly, seek to have a great title-defense campaign. The 29-year-old will, however, face very stiff competition from the likes of Sylvester Emmanuel, who’s already won two national tournaments on the trot — the CBN Senior Open and the Vemp Open — Joseph Imeh, who’s the country’s top ranked player and also a finalist last year, Abdulmumin Babalola, as well as other rising stars.
In the women’s bracket, Sarah Adegoke claimed the title after edging Blessing Samuel in the final a year ago.
She, too, will now have to battle through a potentially difficult field that includes Vemp Open champion, Blessing Samuel, the sensational Oyinlomo Quadre. Quadre’s participation, though, is heavily in doubt as the 15-year-old has yet to play in any national tourney this year.
The event will take place at the Ikoyi Club, Ikoyi, Lagos from Saturday, 10 November to Saturday, 17 November. The men and women’s singles qualifying draw will hold on Saturday, 10 and Sunday, 11 November, while main draws action serves off on Monday, 12 November.
Players who are to participate in the qualifying rounds are to sign in on Friday, 9 November before 6pm local time, while players participating in the main draws are expected to sign in before 12pm local time on Sunday.
In a bid to open up the tournament to all players in Nigeria, the organizers have made the men’s field a draw of 64, while the women’s bracket will be 32.
The event will see players slug it out in the singles and doubles event for N5.1million in prize money and vital NTF ranking points. And just as it was last year, this promises to be a week of spectacular tennis!