There are strong indications that some top players who are regular faces at the annual Governor's Cup Lagos Tennis Championship are on their way to the city of Lagos for the 13th edition of the ITF approved competition.
With less than a month to the October 13 serve off date of the competition, the secretariat of the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF), has been inundated with several requests for letters of invite from players across the world for them to process their entry visas to the country.
Notable among these foreign players are Russian Nina Bratchikova, who won Futures 2 women's singles of the 2010 edition and Futures 1 doubles event of the same year. She made it to the third round of the 2012 Australian Open and in August this year, played up to the second round of the U.S. Open. Another player is 22-year-old American Alexandra Riley, who will be coming to the tournament co-sponsored by Etisalat Nigeria and FCMB Plc from an ITF circuit in Algeria.
Swiss star, Conny Fabiola Perrin, is also listed for the Lagos tournament this year to fight for honour in the women's singles.
Also, Brazil's Pedranzini Rafful Lara, who was in Lagos two editions ago with her mother, Mrs. Pedranzini Marina has also confirmed participation. Indian boy, Virali Murugesan Ranjeet, who was in Lagos last year and had won the men's singles and the doubles event of the Futures in the past, is staging a comeback this year.
At least, 32 players from about 19 countries have signified their intentions of coming down to Lagos for the competition.
Some of the countries listed for participation include; Canada, Germany, Brazil, Ghana, China, India, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Thailand, Russia, USA, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Turkey, Madagascar, South Africa, Austria and Portugal. According to the organisers of the competition, some Indian mothers such as Mrs. Sucheta Sunkara, Hemalatha Bavisetti, Deshmukh Chhaya Vilas and Mrs. Pedranzini Marina (Brazil) as well as fathers, Mr. Gulabrao Nivrutti Thombare (India) and German Specht Dieter are coming with their children to Lagos.
"Also, coaches such as Schneider Markus Wilhelm (Germany), Marijan Goran Jure (Australia), Alexey Filenkov (Russia), Pedro Luis Pacheco Pereira (Portugal) and Prahlad Srinath (India) will be at the Governor's Cup this year. "South African Rens Anton Johan is also coming as the Tournament referee with another Kenyan official, Kamuhia Patrick Muita," stressed the statement from NTF last night.