Club tennis came to its best on Saturday at the weekend inside the Lagos Country Club (LCC) Ikeja, where finalists in the two-week event that saw players in different categories filing out to compete for honours and trophies.
It was a day that saw the men’s single ending in an upset, when unseeded Matt Holmes, defeated the seeded Akin Akirinmisi, former captain of the section, who had been winner of many tournaments within and outside the club and eventually lifted the trophy, in a sweaty, tension-soaked encounter.
At first, the game appeared to be going towards the expected, when Akirinmisi took the first set 6:1.
Homes came back to win the second set at 6:4, setting the stage for the third and final set, where both players gave all they got to win.
Full of intrigues, a combination of power serves and strokes, the third set, took the game into the night, just as it got the spectators on the edge of their seats, as they cheered and clapped.
With the display of resilience, surprise moves and return of almost impossible shots, Holmes eventually subdued Akirinmisi 6:4, to emerge winner.
He later told the audience that the victory was the climax of the great work he had put in his tennis over the years to improve his game, adding that he particularly trained for the tournament and was happy that his efforts had been crowned with victory.
He also said he would continue to work hard to ensure that he improved by the day in order to win more tournaments, within the club and outside.
Akirinmisi, who was full of praises for the winner, said he did not expect it, but was happy that it went to a better player of the day and that spectators were not treated to low quality tennis.
“Matt was a determined underdog and was not expected to win. But it is great he won and I congratulate him. I am also quite happy that we were able to give our best and did not disappoint the spectators. It is not all about winning, but playing to enjoy ourselves. This is a family club and the emphasis is getting together, letting of the heat and generally enjoying ourselves,” he said.
The women doubles was also very competitive. The pair of Dolapo Holmes and Tosin Oshikoya won the first set 7;5. But the Mrs. Lola Aluko and Ayo Odia took the second set in a superb fashion at 6:2, which took game to a Super Tie-break for the third set and eventually taken by Holmes and Oshikoya at 10:6. Overall there was suspense and excitement with the entire club filled with spectators and lots of cheering. Sponsors and tournament partners where very satisfied and pleased with the tournament.
Captain of the club, Mr. Segun Aluko, was quite happy, saying a lot would be invested to make the tournament better. “I am quite happy at what happened today. It was the climax of a two-weeks of very competitive tennis and funfair. I don’t think that anybody would be disappointed at what happened today. It is a championship for players in the Tennis section participating in events which include men’s singles, men’s doubles, ladies doubles and veterans doubles for over 60 years and above.
“This is the flagship annual tournament of the tennis section, which features the best players on the ladder and the one with the biggest prizes from the other competitions held all year round at Lagos Country Club Tennis section. Apart from the competitiveness of the tournament, the major goal of fitness and bonding amongst members remains the ultimate aim of the championship, in a fun and friendly environment. There are over 80 players participating in this two-week activity with great display of skills and experience.
“The Chairman of the section, Dr. Arinze Onubogu corroborated that all members of the section look forward to the annual tournament due to upsets and comebacks with members showing determination to raise their game and take on any challenge. Each edition is becoming bigger and better with more participants, sponsors and spectators.
“Lagos Country Club is a recreation club which encourages its members to stay healthy by being active in an inclusive environment.”