*Deniz Khazaniuk, Pedja Krstin win titles
By Adeyemi Robinson-Adefioye, Lagos
Deniz Khazaniuk of Israel and Pedja Krstin of Serbia were respectively crowned champions of the women and men singles of the Nigeria Futures 4 Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship on Saturday.
Both players are making their debut at the $25, 000 ITF Pro-Circuit tournament and made sure it was a memorable one.
Fourth-seeded Khazaniuk was cheered all the way by the Jewish community, who stormed the venue in their numbers, and in the end it proved vital as she upsets top seed and former winner, Conny Perrin of Switzerland 4-6 6-1 6-3.
To the 22-year-old Khazaniuk, winning the first leg was a great boost for her ambition of playing in the Australian Open next January, as this would boost her ranking to secure qualification for the great tennis Grand Slam.
On his part, Krstin, 23, who is also on his first visit to Lagos, coasted to a straight 6-2, 6-3 win over Stefan Fransen of The Netherlands to land his second title in Nigeria following his triumph at the Dayak Championship Nigeria Futures 2 in May in Abuja. He now has an astonishing 13 Futures titles in his kitty.
Croatian brothers, Ivan and Matej Sabanov beat Frenchmen Tom Jomby and Johan Tatlot to land the men’s doubles title, while the pair of Ayla Aksu from Turkey and Ana Veselinovic from Montenegro defeated the duo of Conny Perrin of Switzerland and Valeriya Strakhova of Ukraine to bag the top prize in the women’s doubles.
Meanwhile, the second leg (Futures 5) have begun with the qualifying matches decided at the weekend paving the way for the main draw scheduled to serve off on Monday.
The tennis grand finale will hold on Saturday where the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwumi Ambode will be the special guest of honour.