The annual Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis tournament as been rebranded by the organisers, the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, and will henceforth be known as the “Lagos Open International Tennis Championships”.
The organisers made the disclosure at a news conference at the club’s House in Onikan, Lagos, to herald the tournament that would hold from Sept. 29 to Oct. 13.
The club’s President, Prince Gbenga Lufadeju, said the rebranding was necessary to further increase the profile of the 100,000 dollars tournament which began 18 years ago.
Lufadeju said the tournament which was part of the Pro Circuit of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) had remain the flagship tennis competition in the country.
“Our club as been in existence for the past 123years and has remained active in the promotion of the sport.
“We have continued to demonstrate our preparedness to provide the best in all areas that pertain to tennis,” he said.
He said that the nine courts in the club have been refurbished to international standard, while a general facelift of the club premises had also been completed.
The president thanked the Lagos State Government and other sponsors for their contributions in sustaining the competition.
He, however, solicited for the support of the state on the club’s proposal to establish a world class Youth Tennis Foundation to produce future world beaters in the game.
Also, Chief Pius Olu-Akinyelure, the Chairman of the Central Working Committee for the competition, said that the 18th edition would be a defining year for the tournament.
Akinyelure said that the rebranding was part of the plan to put the competition on the world stage, adding that the rebranding included a new logo for the tournament
“Age 18 is recognised generally as a maturity age and I must say that this competition has matured.
“Rebranding this tournament is part of the process of catapulting the tournament to the world stage; we are moving the tournament up to the Challenger Circuit.
“The process of transiting to the Challenger Circuit will take about 18 months, so we are here today to take the first step.
“ A little step after this, the tournament will attract the big names in the tennis world,” he said.
The chairman said that over 40 countries were expected to participate in the competition that is made of two futures, the F5 and F6.
He said players will compete in four events, Men’s Singles, Women Singles, Men Doubles and Women Doubles.
Also, Yemi Owoseni, the Vice-President of the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF), thanked the club for their steadfastness in staging the tournament.
Owoseni said that the competition which began in 2,000 had given the federation a good milage to discover outstanding players over the years.
“The competition has remained the flagship of tennis development in the country, the NTF is proud to be part of the success story of this event.
“It has been of great importance to the federation,” he said.