Serbia’s Pedja Krstin, seeded number three in the second leg of just-concluded Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis, has attributed his second win in the competition to persistence, focus and dedication.
Krstin defeated France’s Johan Tatlot, seeded seven, in three sets, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 to win the trophy and the cash prize of $3,000.
The tornament held at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan, Lagos, on Saturday.
Krstin told NAN that he remained focused and dedicated after winning the first leg.
“I did it again. I made it through again. My joy knows no bound. Indeed, I am glad I won for the second time.
“I owe this win to persistence, focus and dedication; even when the chips were down, I kept going on.
“I want to say here that it was not easy. I fought hard to get here,’’ he said.
Krstin described Tatlot as tough.
“The second set wearied me because we played our hearts out but eventually I won.
“It took more of mental strength than the physical to defeat the Frenchman. I wore him out completely in the last set and got my victory.’’
The winner said that he would participate in the next edition of the competition.
“I hope to win again. I thank the organisers of the competitions and those who cheered me,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tatlot told NAN that his opponent was very experienced in mental play.
“I really wish I won. I played the ball well enough but my opponent was more of a mental player than a physical player,’’ he said.
He said that the weather contributed to his loss.
“I don’t think I will come back because the heat here is too much for me, and it does not work well for me.
“Our game took more than two hours, and it was one of the reasons I lost my game,’’ he said.
— Governor's Cup Lagos (@GovernorsCupLag) October 21, 2017
In the women’s final, Conny Perrin, Switzerland’s top seed took her pound of flesh as she ousted Deniz Khazaniuk, number four seed player from Israel.
Perrin said she was glad she defeated her opponent to redeem her image because she lost to her in the final of the first set.
“I am happy because I got to win back my image.
“It was not hard defeating her because we have played in the final before and I have watched her game.
“I know where I went wrong when she deafeated me in the first leg, and I worked hard to cover my loopholes,’’ she said.
In the men’s double final, the duos of Ivan and Matej Sabanov from Croatia defeated India’s Chandril and Lakshit Wood in two dramatic sets, 6-3, 6-4.
In the women’s double final, Perrin with Valeriya Strakhova of Ukraine defeated duos of Tadeja Majeric of Slovakia and Britain’s Tiffany William in two sets, 6-2,6-2.
Ifedayo Akindoju, President, Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) commended the organisers and Lagos State Government, saying that the advantages of investing in sports were numerous.
He said that the competition had helped to expose local players to international standards of play.
“This competition is an eye-opener to our local players to what it is like to compete internationally.
“This will also enable them to earn Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) ranking points,’’ he said.