The tone has finally been set for the 2016 edition of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), as action began over the weekend at the Tennis Centre of the package ‘B’, National Stadium, Abuja, where Team Tombim cruised to a 6-1 victory over Kaduna-based Team Offikwu in their first round-robin encounter.
The Abuja-based Team Tombim had, on Saturday, taken an insurmountable 4-0 lead and went up 5-0 when Edwards Christopher beat Emmanuel Idoko in the first reverse singles 6-2, 6-3.
However, second-ranked Sylvester Emmanuel rescued some pride for the Offikwu team by upsetting National Champion Moses Michael 6-3, 3-6, 10-5 (via a tie-break decider) in the second reverse singles.
In the mixed doubles match which ended proceedings, the Tombim pair of Henry Atseye and Lovette Donatus overcame Offikwu’s Albert Bikom and Aanu Aiyegbusi 6-3, 6-4.
The NCC Tennis league continues at three centres next weekend; Team Anambra would be hosting Team Goshen of Ilorin in Onitsha, CBN Futures will take on Team Kalotari of Port Harcourt at the National Stadium, Lagos and Team FCT will face Team Hope of Asaba in Abuja.
Ten teams are competing in two round-robin groups, with the top two finishers from each group qualifying for the semifinals.
The NCC Tennis League, the first of its kind in Africa, is offering N7m in prize money to the winners, N5m to the runner-up, N3m to third place and N2m to the fourth place finishers.