Team Tombim wins inaugural NCC Tennis League
It was just a matter of time before they were crowned champions. From their first game at the inaugural Nigerian Telecommunications Commission (NCC) Tennis League, Team Tombim showed that they had the ingredients to become champions of Nigerian tennis and that they achieved on Saturday at the centre court of the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan.
But the victory did not come that easy.
Playing against a Team Civil Defence that has some of the most experienced players in the Nigerian circuit, the Abuja-based Team Tombim made their youthfulness count in their 4-2 victory that won them the N5 million prize money.
Team Tombim, made up of the new generation of players, has Christian Paul, 22, ranked a lowly 27 in the current national rankings, to thank for their victory.
Paul beat former number one, Abdulmumuni Babalola, in the first singles and the ousted immediate past national champion, Christian Enosoregbe in the match that clinched the tie for his team.
Team Tombim had carried a 2-1 lead into the final day, but national ladies’ champion, Christie Agugbom, leveled the tie after shaking off a very nervous start to beat Sarah Adegoke 1-6, 6-4, 6-2.
The champions reestablished their lead when Moses Michael defeated Babalola 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the fifth rubber and Paul dashed hopes of a dramatic finish by winning the second reverse singles.
Team Civil Defence got the runner-up prize of N3 million. The grand finale attracted top-level dignitaries with the first vice president of Nigeria, Sir Alex Ekwueme and Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, attending as special guests of honour.
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