Tennis Professionals of Ghana (TPG) No.1 Johnson Acquah saw off Reginald Okantey in two dramatic sets to win the maiden edition of Kaiser tennis showdown.
This is Johnson's third title in the year 2020 after winning the National Tour 1 in January and Baby-Jet & MANCWA Top 16 invitational Tourney also in August.
Johnson won 7-6(4), 6-2 in an hour and 10 minutes at the Open tennis court, Sakumono on Sunday.
After 6-6 first set, Johnson made the sharper start in the tie break, breaking Okantey's serve in twice to win the set 7-6(4).
After the tentative start, Okantey had begun to move forward in the second set, only for Acquah to keep finding a way past him and won the set 6-1.
Okantey had been hoping to win his first title of the year. Speaking to ghanatennis.org Okantey said it was "always going to be tough facing Johnson. I think we both walked away from it knowing more about our games and about each other".
Johnson after the game also said, "I'm honoured to be standing here as a champion for a third time in a year."
General Manager of Kaiser West Africa Nikita Loginov said, 'We organized this tournament to improve the livelihood of the players. Covid-19 has really affected the players that’s why we at Kaiser put together this tournament’.
President of Ghana Tennis Federation(GTF) Isaac Aboagye Duah praised Kaiser for such an initiative.
Winner Johnson Acquah walked away with One thousand dollars and runner-up; Reginald Okantey took home five hundred dollars.
KAISER TENNIS SHOWDOWN
Background The Kaiser Tennis showdown is a charity event aimed at giving due recognition to lesser-celebrated sports in Ghana like Long Tennis. This CSR initiative stems from the inspiration to support the livelihood of long tennis players in Ghana who are not well celebrated and compensated in this part of the world. The Covid-19 pandemic has adversely affected their source of income because of the restriction on sport competitions irrespective of the fact that Tennis is a game that does not require close physical contact of its players only with the exception of the ball and racket. It’s the reason why we’ve created this tennis gathering for players to show off their skills and experience the greatness of the game while still observing all Covid-19 precautions and protocols to ensure the safety of everyone gracing the event. 8 main players will be participate for the Grand prize of $1,000, while the runner up will go home with $500 amongst other cash prizes and souvenir (kitchen appliances) for the players.
Inspiration The Managing Director of Kaiser West Africa, Nikita Loginov has always been a lover of the game since he was a kid and was privileged to play with top players in Ghana when he moved into the country and this sparked the inspiration to partner with Open Court Tennis Centre to create this platform to help both young and mature tennis players.
Objective Globally, tennis is a well-respected sports but it does not have much financial support and social recognition in Ghana. As a result of this, there is a low remuneration and interest associated with tennis in the country. Even young kids who aspire to be sports men and women shy away from tennis when they consider the financial realities of this sport in the country. Hence, Kaiser Ghana is making strides in changing the narrative of Tennis in Ghana to inspire more people or talents from young to grassroots and other walks of life to play tennis and take it on as a career path.
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