From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Jome National Senior Open Tennis Championship, with total prize money of N7.32 million, has been scheduled to commence at the Sam Ogbemudia Stadium from March 24 to April 2 in Benin City, Edo State.
The programme of the championship released by the Secretary-General of the Nigeria Tennis Federation, Dayo Abulude, indicates that the qualifiers will take place from March 25 to 27, while the competition proper serves off on March 28.
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The best 32 players would be joined by 32 qualifiers bringing to 64 the number of players in the main draw of the men and women categories, while in wheelchair tennis, the best 16 players will vie for honours in the men and women categories.
In his remark, the sponsor of the event, Joseph Osawaru, said N7.32 million would be up for grabs in the tournament with the winners in the men and woman singles taking home N500, 000 each.
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He disclosed that the event would be held annually in Benin and commended Governor Godwin Obaseki for approving the tennis court at the stadium for the tournament.
‘The tournament will be an annual one meant to assist the state government to develop sports in the state. Government cannot bankroll sports alone hence the need for the private sector to support to step in.
‘I must commend the state government for making the facility at the stadium available for the competition. It shows that they know the importance of sports in society and I will ensure that the tournament becomes bigger and better every year,’ Osawaru added.