The finals of both Women’s and Men’s Singles (Futures 1) of this year’s Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Open will hold on Saturday, but all the Nigerian players who featured in the international tournament are now spectators in what should have been their own show.
The home players did not get to the crucial stages of the tournament, as they were knocked out before the quarter finals.
Former number one player, Jonathan Igbinovia, who paired with Abdulmumini Babalola in the Men’s Doubles were equally bundled out in the preliminary round, while Henry Atseye, Shehu Lawal, Sani Adamu, Sarah Adegoke and other Nigerian stars did not measure up to the standard of the foreign players who continue to dominate the championship since inception.
Just as the Nigerian players fell like pack of cards, number 4 seed, Chanel Simmonds and Ruan Roelofse from South Africa were the only representatives of the continent who reached the quarter and semi final stages respectively. But both player lost their games, as Africa did not present any player in the finals of both the male and female categories.
However, top seed Tadeja Majeric from Slovakia defeated Naomi Broady of Britain 3-6, 7-6 (3) and 6-4 in the first semi final of the Women’s Singles to set up a final match against Dalila Jakupovic of Slovakia, who defeated Cristina Dinu in straight sets of 7-5, 6-2 in the second semi final.
In the Men’s Singles, Ante Pavic will confront Borna Coric in the final immediately after the women’s final slated to serve off at 3pm on Saturday. Pavic, who came to feature in the Governor’s Cup from Croatia defeated Andre Gasmar Murta from Portugal 6-2, 6-3 in the first semi final, while Coric also of Croatia defeated South African Ruan Roelofse 6-4, 4-6 and 6-2 in the second semi final of the Men’s Singles on Friday.
Meanwhile, Coric, a world number 1 junior player from Croatia is excited over the prospect of playing his compatriot in the first leg final of the Governor’s Cup in Nigeria.
“I have known Ante for a very long time because we come from the same country. I must confess that he is a great player, but I’ve the confidence that I can beat him in the final because anybody can win in the game of tennis. I’m looking forward to winning the final on Saturday”, Coric said.