By Ebenezer Osamo –
National Coach, Benson Ishicheli, has called on corporate bodies to sponsor tennis tournaments in Nigeria.
Ishicheli, who spoke with eyeonthesports.com, said it is disturbing to see Nigerian players play just two tournament in a calendar year.
He noted that the players’ match rustiness always accounts for their below-par performance when they play against their foreign counterparts during the annual Governor’s Cup Tennis Championship.
According to him, “tennis cannot survive without tournaments and these tournaments cannot be organised by the federation alone, we need corporate sponsors.
“When we try to get money from the state governments, it seldom sees the light of day because of the politics being played with the release of funds to have competitions.
“We need corporate sponsorship for our tennis so that our players are not match rusty when they play their foreign counterparts during the Governor’s Cup”.
The Davis Cup team coach also noted; “look at the young players who travelled to Kenya for the AJTC, they were not in form. They stayed in camp for just a week when their counterparts had played about five tournaments before going into the African Championship.
“We have the talents here but we cannot do the harnessing in this manner. Sponsors should believe in these players and come to our aid so that we can stage as many tournaments as possible annually”.