By John Egbokhan
Foremost tennis commentator, Chief Ben Ezeibe has alerted the Nigeria Tennis Federation to reach out to a Nigerian-born US junior champion, Whitney Osuigwe, who is making waves on the International Tennis Federation circuit.
Few weeks after alerting the tennis ruling body on the exploits of the son of Tony Mmoh, Michael, who was a first round loser at the last Australian Open and is ranked193on the ATP tour, Chief Ezeibe has said that Osuigwe and Mmoh can be used as catalysts for the transformation that Nigerian tennis yearns for. According to the former official of the ATP Tour, ‘’I have just learnt from ITFthat another Nigerian-fathered U.S juniors female champion, Whitney Osuigwe, was sensational in her recent tournament outings and possibly could make top 100 ranking on WTA tour this year 2017.
‘’This is a big thing for Nigeria because this player can be a shining star sooner than later.
If we get our acts together, Nigerian tennis, which is at a cross road for years now may rise again and start earning foreign exchange for this country’’, said Ezeibe, who urged NTF President, Sani Ndanusa to reach out to the duo, with a view to getting them to play for the country of their fathers.
‘’NTF must make moves to get these players to play for Nigeria. It would not be easy because the United States government will be paying a lot to keep them on the tour but Nigeria can beg their fathers to convince them to play for Nigeria. I believe if we get them to play for Nigeria, these two players will turn our fortunes around and we will become the No.1 tennis Nation in Africa again.
‘’If Serena Williams could pick up USD3m for winning Australian open in two weeks and her sister Venus USD1.9m for reaching the final, my question is where is the hunger in our youngsters? There is big money in professional tennis and our players must wake up from their slumber’’, added Chief Ezeibe.