By Collin Matiza
TWO of Zimbabwe’s top men’s tennis players, Benjamin Lock and Takanyi Garanganga, are set to be part of a strong field of about 240 players who will compete in this year’s Lagos Open Championship in Lagos, Nigeria, next month.
According to reports from Nigeria, the West African country’s commercial nerve centre, the city of Lagos is set to play host to no fewer than 240 players across 57 countries of the world.
Zimbabwe’s Davis Cup team’s players Lock and Garanganga will be fighting for the top honours in the men’s singles section.
This is the number of players who have signified interest in featuring in the 2019 Lagos Open tournament which will be held at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club in the Onikan area of Lagos from October 7-20.
The 240 players, according to the International Tennis Federation, consist of 133 who will compete in the men’s singles and doubles events, while 107 players will play in the women’s singles and doubles during the ITF World Tour in Lagos, one of the emerging mega cities of the world. Twenty-eight-year-old Japanese Shuichi Sekiguchi is the highest ranked player in the men’s category.
He is ranked 286 on the ATP world rankings, followed by Tunisian Skander Mansouri who is on number 341 and French Tom Jomby (404).
Jomby is a regular face in the Lagos Open as well as compatriot Calvin Hemery (561).
Zimbabwe’s Lock, who is ranked 471 in the world, and his fellow countryman Garanganga (623) are making a return to Lagos.
The highest ranked Nigerian men’s player in this year’s competition is Joseph Imeh Ubon, who is ranked 1 537 in the world and followed by Sylvester Emmanuel (1 897).
Italian Giulia Gatto-Monticone is leading the women’s players to the 19th Lagos Open.
She is 161 on WTA world ranking, followed by Aleksandrina Naydenova from Bulgaria (218) and Amandine Hesse from France (236) making the top three.
The Lagos Open, which before 2018 edition was known as the Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis, is being organised annually to celebrate the sitting Executive Governor of Lagos State.
This year, the 19th edition, will be the first in the government of Babajide Sanwo-Olu.