Alex Adewale, one the Nigerian players participating in the forthcoming Puma Engineer ITF Wheelchair Tennis Futures in Abuja, has expressed optimism with the players' preparations.
The players who have been undergoing intense training sessions were about a dozen players during Wednesday’s training in Lagos which was presided by Nigeria’s head coach, Frank Tarmena.
Nigerian Tennis Live gathered that he had the players work extensively on their movement after returning of serves. They also focused on having spins on their serves to make them gain more advantage against their opponents should they opponents make a slow return.
Some of the wheelchair tennis players during a tournament at the national stadium recently.
Leading the players training was the duo of London 2012 Paralympians Adewale and Wasiu Yusuf. Idowu Ajani, Kazeem Akanbi and Mohammed Audu, all of whom are due for action in Abuja were among those that also turned up while top-ranked female player, Kafayat Omisore and her closest rival Chituru Nwazuzu also took part in the four-hour two-session exercise.
Adewale, a former Africa’s number five ranked player and Nigeria's best player, said the players are eager to take full advantage of Nigeria’s hosting of the tournament with creditable performance.
“We are grateful that a tournament like this is taking place in Nigeria and we are determined to perform well and make Nigeria proud at the tournament,” he said while commending former Nigeria Tennis Federation boss, Engr. Sani Ndanusa for facilitating the championship.
He also disclosed that the former sports minister paid for the registration of all the 15 Nigerians that would be featuring in the $3,000 prize-money event is scheduled to hold from October 29 to November 4 at the National Tennis Centre, Package B National Stadium in Abuja.
It’s the first time Nigeria would be privilege to host the tournament and the nation’s players are keen to slug it out for valuable ITF points alongside contestants from other countries, at least, five of which are fellow Africans.