Nigeria’s Moses Michael and Zarah Razafinmahatratra from Madagascar emerged winners of the Men and Women’s Singles in the wrap up of the 2014 Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship, which held Saturday at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan, in Nigeria’s commercial capital.
Michael, who lost the first set of the Men’s Singles final by 4-6 to Duncan Mugabe of Uganda, came back strongly to claim a 6-1, 6-2 win in a straight set; beating his opponent 2 sets to 1 later, in a highly technical grand finale.
The Nigerian tennis player, with superior forehand strokes over the big serving Ugandan, Duncan Mugabe defeated his opponent 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 in at the final, witnessed by the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola; Director, PMO & Operational Strategy, Etisalat Nigeria (Sponsors of the event) Ms. Ndidi Okpaluba, Vice President, Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) Mr. Yemi Owoseni, Chairman of the Main Organizing Committee, Chief Pius Akinyelure, Asoju Oba of Lagos, Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas, Publisher Happenings Magazine (online) Chief Edirin Abamwa, and Coordinator of the annual Chevron Junior Tennis Clinic, Chris Enahoro among a host of others.
Student representatives from more than 20 secondary schools in Lagos State also attended this year’s tournament, which brought together players within the African continent only, given the short time it took to organise an ‘abridge version,’ of the Championship, after the World Health body, WHO declared Nigeria Ebola-Free.
Soon after the match, Michael, one of the 12 top seeded players in this year’s competition raced to the VIP stand to have a warm handshake with Governor Fashola, who congratulated him for the feat.
In the Women’s Singles, Zarah Razafinmahatratra, a rookie player, defeated by Russia’s Nina Brachikova in last year’s tournament, beat Nigeria’s Sarah Adegoke in straight sets of 6-0, 6-1, to claim the women’s title.
A prize sum of $84,000 was shared amongst the winners at this year’s 14th edition of the sporting event, capped by presentation of trophies to the winners and their runners up.
Governor Babatunde Fashola in his closing remarks said: “ I comment the participants and the organizers for a job well done, Lagos State will always be a proud host any day anytime”
Speaking to after receiving his trophy from Governor Fashola, Michael the tournament’s number one said excitedly: “This victory means a lot to me and my family. it is one of the finest moments of my tennis career, and i will like to dedicate this success to my coach and everyone who has motivated and encouraged me.”