Ghana will host, perhaps, the biggest International Tennis Federation (ITF) sanctioned tournament, ITF World Tour McDan Open from April 29 to May 4 at the tennis courts at the Accra Sports Stadium.
The ITF World Tour as explained by the Secretary General of the Ghana Tennis Federation (GTF), Ms Philippina Frimpong is an upgrade of the annual McDan West Africa Open tournament sponsored by the McDan Group of Companies led by Dr Daniel McKorley.
Opened to players across the globe, Ms Frimpong told the Times Sports yesterday that players from countries such as Italy, Switzerland, England, US, India, Namibia, Nigeria, Poland, Russia and many others have confirmed their participation.
It will start exactly a week after the Nigeria edition ends on April 22 and will begin with the pre-tournament qualifiers to be played on April 26-27 after which the draw for the main tournament would be held.
Ahead of the tournament, the ITF has announced that umpires from Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo and Ghana have been appointed with the main referee coming from Egypt.
The president of the GTF, Isaac Aboagye Duah welcomed the opportunity to host a competition of this magnitude but lamented the inability of Ghanaian players to feature.
He explained that since participation was based on ranking, Ghana will rely on a few wild cards to secure at least two spots due to the competitive nature of it.
He hoped that the wild card beneficiaries will use the occasion to build points for themselves to enhance their chances of qualifying to play in future editions.
The competition has a total price package of US$15,000 to be shared among the respective winners.
Giving the breakdown of the prizes, a senior umpire with the GTF, Yakubu Leah explained that the winner of the Men’s Singles event will pocket US$2,160, representing 14.40 per cent of the total prize package with the runner-up taking home US$ 1,272.
Semi finalists, he said, will earn US$753; quarter finalists will take US$438; round of 16 players will earn US$258 with round of 32 players taking home US$156.
In the Doubles event, the winning duo will take home US$930; finalists will earn US$540; semi finalists taking home US$324; quarter finalists will earn US$192 and US$108 for the round of 16 participants.
BY ANDREW NORTEY