The challenges with Nigerian tennis may be nearing its end if the administrators can take to the advice of a former number one player, Michael Moses, who is now based in the United States of Nigeria.
Moses who has been in the US for about a year and five months, told Nigerian Tennis Live in this exclusive interview, that the major differences between tennis in Nigeria and tennis in the United States, stating that Nigeria lacks most of the things they enjoy abroad, and it is affecting the players.
According to him: "The difference is, in Nigeria we lack everything but here they have everything the player needs.
"Strings, shoes, rackets clothes bag, tournaments every week, good courts, good environment, good food… all these things can make you a better player. But in Nigeria we don’t have all these things."
The fact that he's playing outside the country and schooling alongside his passion does not mean things are easy for him, Moses is hustling just as always as he indicated during the interview.
The former Nigerian number one tennis player who showed great promise during his time on the pro-circuit and since his breakthrough to senior tennis action in Nigeria, is presently studying at the Xavier University of Louisiana and has about four more years to go for the education.
|Playing tennis alongside education is not an easy task, Moses confesses.|
During the interview with our correspondent, the last Nigerian player to win the (Abridged) Governor's Cup Lagos Tennis Championship, explained that he has really struggled to adapt to life as a tennis player and as a scholar.
"Actually school and tennis is something the brain needs to deal with.
"It's really hard for me because I’m dealing with two things right now, tennis and school. It is stressful but there’s nothing I can do about it for now, I’m gonna keep pushing forward," the Nigerian star noted.
On what he misses the most about Nigeria, Moses, a former national champion, immediately mentioned his doubles partner, Christian Paul, as the one he missed the most.
He said: "I miss my doubles partner and the rest of my friends, but every year I will be coming back to play some money tournaments."Right now, I can’t play features cos I’m in college. I will start playing features in the next two years. I am presently schooling and practicing playing college tournament."
Moses also took time to advise the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) with the way they handle tournaments in the country."The Nigeria Tennis Federation should try and make sure there's a tournament in the country once in two months, these tournaments will keep the best players in the country and help them stay focused.
"The federation should also look for a way to make the players study alongside their tennis exploits.
"The players should also be aided to play about five Futures abroad apart from the ones they participate in at home," the former Abuja-based tennis pro noted.
|The things they have here, we do not have in Nigeria... we need more tournaments.|
For Moses, everything about his game has really changed and he is ready to take on anybody.
"My forehand, backhand, serve, movement, volleys… now I play more offensive and that’s what is motivating me now."
In 2017, he expressed his desire to finish among the top 100 players in the world, the Mac Dan tournament champion has not given up on that dream, even though he has not been playing Futures for close to two years.
"Yes I am still nursing that ambition. But I have to finish my school first before I will have sponsorship," Moses added.
The soft spoken player also spared a word of advice for some of his peers back home.
"My advice to the players is that they should work harder than ever and not depend on anybody, anywhere for help.
"I never thought I'd be here playing tennis and studying but that is what is happening to me presently. God will surely open a way for them if they keep working hard," he said.