Players, fans await Odizor at Enugu NCC Tennis League semifinals
Odizor, nicknamed the Duke by tennis writers in England after he beat Guillermo Vilas of Argentina, the eighth seed, to reach the round of 16 at the 1983 Wimbledon Championships, said he was very happy to support the NCC Tennis league because “it was the best thing to happen to Nigerian tennis if not Nigerian sports as a whole.”
Also expected as a special guest of honour at the event is Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. Odizor, who achieved the highest ranking of 52 in the world, played in all the Grand Slams with his best performances coming at Wimbledon where he reached the fourth round in 1983 and the Australian Open where he made the third round in 1985.
The “Duke” of Wimbledon besides several Challenger Series titles in Nigeria and Greece, won a major ATP title in Taipei in 1985 and seven ATP doubles titles. He earned a career total prize of $675, 673.
The Nigerian tennis legend is also expected to be in Abuja for the second semifinals between Team Civil Defence and Team Offikwu on December 10 and 11, where the Minister of Youth & Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, is expected to be the special guest of honour.
The first semifinal in Enugu is expected to be keenly contested as Tombim, the defending champions, with national champion, Moses Michael, Christian Paul and Sarah Adegoke have to face a Team FCT with former national number one, Thomas Otu, who appears to have regained the form that saw him win the CBN Senior championship in 2015 and Sunday Emmanuel, who was a semifinalist in the men’s singles event of the recently concluded Dala Hard Court.
The NCC Tennis League is offering record prize monies in the history of Nigerian tennis. . The champions are getting N7 million, the runner-up team N5 million, third place N3 million and the fourth place N2 million.