The one-week Rainoil Tennis Open ended with glamour on Sunday, when 16-years-old David Ekpenyong emerged winner of the men’s single by beating his opponent, Uche Oparaoji, 7-6(4), 6-1.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the championship served-off at the Tennis Section of the Ikoyi Club 1938 in Lagos.
Ekpenyong won the grand prize of N1.5 million.
Ekpenyong and Oparaoji had earlier won the men’s double, beating Biron Albert and Madueke Nonso 6-3, 4-6, 10-8.
In a similar trend, 17-years-old Marylove Edwards, won the women’s single by defeating Anu Ayegbusi, 6-0, 2-0 rtd, as Ayegbusi bowed out of the game during the second round.
The women’s double was also won by duo Edward and Ayegbusi, who defeated Toyin Asogba and Blessing Omotayo 6-0, 6-2.
The tournament, which was co-sponsored by Stanbic IBTC Bank, had a total of 144 top players selected from different parts of Nigeria.
The Chairman of the Tennis Section of Ikoyi Club 1938, Akeem Mustafa, commended Rainoil Limited for hosting the event successfully.
According to Mustafa, Rainoil Limited has over the years demonstrated unusual passion and support for tennis and has consistently increased the winnings of the tournament, thereby building interest in the game.
He urged the management of Rainoil not to relent in their support for the game.
The Group Managing Director of Rainoil Limited, Dr Gabriel Ogbechie, said the investment of Rainoil in lawn tennis is borne out of its desire to provide platforms for young ones to love the game.
Ogbechie said tennis is a game that is capable of lifting the young ones out of poverty and bringing them into prosperity.
He said top tennis players in the world have won over 100 million dollars in prize money alone, and Nigerians can rise to that level in the game if well developed.
Ogbechie said that tennis deserves all the support it can get and decried the absence of officials of the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) at the tournament.
The GMD stated that the NTF as the custodian of the game in Nigeria, should show support and encouragement to any organisation that shows interest in the sport.
The Managing Director of Stanbic IBTC Bank, Wole Adeniyi, expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the tournament and congratulated the winners, players, and Rainoil Limited for the initiative.
He expressed hope that the tournament would produce a grand slam winner in the future, assuring Rainoil of the bank’s continuous support for the tournament. (NAN)