Saturday, October 06, 2012

Events at Lagos Lawn Tennis Club this month

One, Venus and Serena are scheduled to tour Nigeria, giving tennis clinics, an exhibition match, and such, from October 30.
Two, Nigeria is hosting a few low-level international tennis tournaments. 

No Top Nigerian Tennis Pros
Currently, all Africa has in the top 100 ATP/WTA rankings are 1 South African man (Kevin Anderson) and 1 South African woman.
All the Africans in the top 1000 (13 men / 6 women) are from South Africa (and Zimbabwe) or North Africa (Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco).   There are however many unranked Nigerian players on the pro-circuit.  I'll make an excuse for them: tennis is expensive.

Few Top Nigerian Juniors
The Africans have a bigger and more diverse presence on the JUNIOR rankings table of the International Tennis Federation(ITF).  First of all, there are 3 boys and 4 girls from Africa in their top 100, with 53 boys and 42 girls in the top 1000.

Nigerian boys Emmanuel Udoko and Umaru Balami, and a girl Sarah Adegoke are in the respective top 1000 rankings for juniors.
Umaru Balami of Nigeria
Emmanuel Idoko of Nigeria

I used to read about them in NEXT, and became colleagues and friends with Tolu Asaolu and the other sports reporters - Jide Alaka, Tunde Eludini, Ifeanyi Ibeh, Nnamdi Okosieme.  Few paid attention to the junior sports stories, being so carried away with millionaire football stars.

Sarah Adegoke, click for photo source
Sarah Adegoke, Governors Cup Lagos Tennis
  But surely with good exposure and match play, some Nigerian players may break into the top 1,000 and even the top ranks of tennis.

Cool tourneys in Lagos
I can't wait to finally watch some live, courtside tennis, my first time ever.
Tafawa Balewa Square and Lagos Lawn Tennis Club (photo:ITF)
Besides the Chevron Junior Masters tennis championships currently on at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, there is the Lagos Governor's Cup coming up in the second half of October.
Follow the tournaments
web:  fb: GovernorsCupLagosTennis , twitter @governorscuplag
Lagos Nigeria aerial view (photo: ITF)


t said...

Source: I used the latest rankings tables (date: October 1, 2012) from the website of the Confederation of African Tennis: CAT

t said...

Things you didn't know about Venus Williams. Venus Williams' Favourites

You know she's a fashion designer, right? And an interior designer. And she studied fashion in school.

I am a total clothes junkie. I go through phases where I like to shop and other times when I won’t buy anything for a month. When I was diagnosed with Sjögrens Syndrome [link] in 2011, I had this period of adjustment when I shopped a lot. At least I blamed it on the Sjögrens!
This is how I shop: Places like Barneys or Saks will have like a super-designer area with all this expensive stuff, and then they have a middle area, and then they have a lower area. At Barneys the lower area is called “The Co-Op.” That is where I hang out. The other areas are annoying. The prices are outrageous, and a lot of it isn’t even functional. Also, I don’t like trends. I wont wear them. I have to be on my own path. Even though I am picky about what I buy, I am still a fan of designers. Here are some of my favorites.

Ralph Lauren: You just can’t go wrong with this guy. His stuff is classic and you can wear it forever. I love classic design but I also like to have fun doing something funky. Ralph Lauren is like that too.

Armani: Just like Ralph Lauren, Armani also combines classic style with some creative flair. He makes iconic, quality clothes that you just can’t help but look good in. Incidentally, I don’t actually own any Armani, although I do have some Emporio Armani.

Matthew Williamson When I want to channel my inner Beyonce, I wear something by Matthew Williamson. He has awesome prints and he is just such a cool guy.

Dolce & Gabbana: They also do amazing things with prints, and their clothes are sexy without being trashy.

She has great taste in athletes. And I have to check out Bernard Tomic.

Growing up, I never watched a lot of sports outside of tennis. I still don’t. So there aren’t many athletes from whom I idolized. I like anybody with a hot body, though! (That’s mostly a joke.)

Boris Becker: He was my favorite player when I was growing up. I even had this habit of serving like him, when I was in the Juniors, moving my hips back and forth. It was kind of annoying.

Monica Seles: I always really liked her. She had this aggressive, attacking game that I could relate to.

Serena Williams: duh …

Roger and Rafael: Of course I like them. Who doesn’t?

Gaels Monfils: He is amazing. I hope he will win a Major one day. We will see.

Bernard Tomic: I like this kid. He has a weird, interesting game.

Hmmm, Lagos?

Some cities speak to my heart more than others. For instance, I have a house in L.A. but I don’t really go out when I am there. But other places have something – some kind of energy – that makes me want to explore them.

Palm Beach Gardens: My favorite city is definitely my hometown of Palm Beach Gardens. For one, I love the heat. Secondly, it has the best places to not be in a VIP area. I am into total dives and there are a lot of great down-to-earth places in Palm Beach. I love my local scene, I love my local people, and they love me.

Rome: I love Rome. To me, Rome feels like a city where anything is possible. The sun shines and you just feel great. If I could live anywhere in Europe, I’d live in Rome or Milan.

Hong Kong: I don’t know why I like Hong Kong so much. I guess it has good energy. I have only ever been when it is cold, and I hate playing in freezing weather. (To me, 50 degrees is freezing.) But I still love Hong Kong.

Paris: TK

t said...

Saturday October 20, Cristina Dinu of Romania won the 25,000dollar Lagos tournament. Congrats, girl. Hope you enjoyed Lagos even if it rained all the time :)

t said...

Didn't make it to the two weeks of Governor's Cup tennis action in Lagos. Maybe I'll see Venus and Serena? Here's their Lagos schedule:
Event Schedule:

Tuesday 30th October - ARRIVAL
Thursday 1st November - GALA DINNER

Watch the Williamses or stay on at work (my university) for the graduation/commencement/convocation ceremonies? Hmmmm.

After Lagos, the ladies are off to South Africa for more exhibition play. FUN.

Welcome to Naija!

t said...

Didn't make it to see Venus and Serena either.
Oh well, next time.

t said...

To clarify, the NEXT journalists did care about several sports and about grassroots sport development, including junior tennis. I meant to say that READERS didn't seem to care.

t said...

Number of Nigerian male juniors in the top 2000 today: EIGHT. Three in the top 1000, led by 17-year-old Joseph UBON at #596, followed by Abubakar TSWAKO and Emmanuel IDOKO at #785 and #787 resp.

Nigerian Female Juniors have Sarah ADEGOKE at #786, then Ann OKORO at 1910. That's all.

Five men in the top 2000 from Nigeria, but far outside 1000. I wish them luck.
No women. :(