Lagos State is a step closer to attracting big tennis stars like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Serena Williams among others to compete for honours on its soil.

This was the submission made by Pius Olu Akinyelure, Chairman Working Committee for the Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis tournament (GCLT) which has evolved to become the “Lagos Open International Tennis Championships”.

The name change and other innovations geared at making the flagship tennis event in Lagos a global brand were revealed to journalists in Lagos at a press conference.

Akinyelure said he was delighted that after 18 years a big leap is been taken for the annual tennis tournament.

He said: “I am happy to report that GCLT has attained manhood and I, and my colleagues on the CWC have started the process of catapulting the tournament onto the world stage.     

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“We are moving the tournament up to the Challenger Circuit. A little step after this and we would be having the likes  of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, the Williams sisters (Serena and Venus), Angela Keber etc. coming to our shores to compete.”

On his part, the Lagos Lawn Tennis President, Gbenga Lufadeju, said the rebranding was necessary to further increase the profile of the 100,000 dollars tournament which began 18 years ago.

Lufadeju said the tournament, which was part of the Pro Circuit of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), had remained the flagship tennis competition in the country.

Over 40 countries are expected to participate in this year’s competition that is made of two futures, the F5 and F6.

Players will compete in four events, Men’s Singles, Women Singles, Men Doubles and Women Doubles.

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