Sylvester Emmanuel emerged new champion of Central Bank of Nigeria Tennis Championship by beating last year’s winner, Abdulmumuni Babalola 3-6,7-6 on 3, 6-4 in the final.
The 40th edition, which was held at Package ‘B’ of Abuja National Stadium also saw women defending champion, Sarah Adegoke come from a game down to beat Christy Agugbom 4-6, 7-6, 6-0 to tained her tittle.
After the finals on Saturday, both champions smiled home with N700,000 each and the giant singles’ trophy that goes with the cash prize.
What Agugbom lost in the singles final was gained in the doubles as she combined effectively wth her semi-final victim, Blessing Samuel to win the women’s doubles title by beating the duo of Rose Abu and Bukola Olowu 6-3, 6-1.
The men’s doubles title went to the duo of Babalola and Shehu Lawal that defeated Philip Abayomi and Michael Osewa whom they outscored 6-2, 6-1.
In his key note address during the closing ceremony, Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Godwin Emefiele, who was represented by Deputy Governor Corporate Services, Edward Adamu, said the bank has since 1979, been supporting tennis in the country and has produced champions that have represented the nation in various international competitions and won laurels.
Besides, he said the skill displayed by the players on court underscores the reason why the Apex bank has remained committed to the initiative that has always been staged in Lagos until this year that it was organised in Abuja to give the FCT tennis stakeholders a sense of belonging too.
He said the Bank will continue to collaborate with the Nigeria Tennis Federation in the overall interest of the game in order to ensure steady development of tennis in the country and assured that the CBN Tennis Championship has come to stay.
Speaking further, the Governor informed that the CBN is proud to be associated with both the players and other stake holders for keeping fate with the annual championship that remains as the biggest tennis tournament in the country and pleaded with Nigerian youths yo take advantage of this and develop their skill.