The 2020 edition of the Central Bank of Nigeria-sponsored Senior Open Tennis Championship begins on Friday at the tennis complex of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.
This was disclosed in Abuja on Thursday at a press briefing addressed by the CBN acting spokesman Osita Nwanisobi and president of the Nigerian Tennis Federation (NTF) Dayo Akindoju.
In his remarks, Mr Nwanisobi restated the bank’s commitment to the sponsorship of the tournament, which is in its 42nd year, noting that objective of the championship remained to ensure that young talents are given a veritable platform to represent the nation at international tennis tournaments.
According to him, the CBN recognised the critical role of the youth in nation building, hence it was doing all within the limits of its mandate to encourage the empowerment of the Nigerian youth.
He therefore urged youth in the country to take advantage of all the intervention programmes of the bank to enhance the quality of their lives as well as contribute to the economic prosperity of Nigeria.
He also tasked participants at the competition to take opportunity of the championship to exhibit their talents, with a view to showcasing them at tournaments locally and internationally.
Akindoju said this year’s competition, which is holding five months after its original scheduled date, due to COVID-19 pandemic, will attract over 250 players, with the duo of Sylvester Emmanuel and Oyinlomo Quadri, leading the men’s and women’s seeds respectively.
He explained that in line with the COVID-19 protocols put in place by the Federal Government, the number of spectators at the one-week tournament would be restricted.
While disclosing an upward review in the prize money for the preliminary rounds, Akindoju said participants would slug it out for honours in the men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, wheelchair men’s singles, and wheelchair women’s singles categories.
Winners of the men’s and women’s singles categories are expected to pocket N700,000 each, while runners-up will each receive the sum of N350,000. Winners in the men’s and women’s wheel-chair categories are to receive the sum of N250,000 each, just as the winners in the doubles categories are expected to receive N220,000.
The finals of the competition comes up on November 14.