KAMPALA, March 31 — The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has awarded Uganda four ITF Pro-Circuit Future tennis tournaments.
“We are glad that these tournaments that carry a cash prize of 60,000 U.S. dollars have been awarded to us and they will run between April 28th and May 28th at the Lugogo Tennis Complex,” Cedric Babu, Chairman of the Uganda Tennis Association (UTA) told Xinhua on Friday.
Babu explained that the development comes after Uganda was readmitted two months ago by ITF after the paying outstanding affiliation fees arrears from 2007. “This is a big circuit which will have players from over 140 countries play in Uganda for a month in the four tournaments,” added Babu.
David Oringa, Uganda’s second best men’s players told Xinhua that he is happy that they will have a whole month of international tennis action in Kampala.
“This is something we have been missing and having it played in our country is a big advantage,” added Oringa.
Another up-coming player Borris Aguma told Xinhua that having the ITF Circuit with four tournaments in Uganda is a blessing because he will be able to get international exposure without having to spend money to travel out of the country.
Babu said that the Circuit that will have four Futures tournaments will be one of the biggest tennis events ever to be hosted in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“We need to take advantage of this and make sure we improve our players and also be able to attract sponsorship from the government and the private sector,” he added.
Players that have already registered to take part in the Circuit are from Kenya, Rwanda, Morocco, South Africa, DR Congo, Egypt, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Sweden, the Netherlands, Tunisia, Turkey, Algeria and Angola among others.
Babu said Uganda will also send a women’s team to the Federation Cup in Montenegro. The tournament popularly known as the Fed Cup is one of the biggest women’s national team competitions.