The UAE Tennis Ranking Masters, the invitational tournament for the top 8 ranked players from the 2009/10 season, ended on a high with many matches going as per the seeding. UAE's top ranked player, Omar Behrouzian dismissed Davis Cup team mate Mahmoud Nader in straight sets 6-1- 6-1 to win the men's singles title. Recovered from his almost two years of absence, Behrouzian has made a strong return to the game with helping to promote the Davis Cup Team in April to promote to Group III, winning the Falak Holding National League title with Al Wasl Sports Club and recently winning his first ATP points in the Futures event in Kuwait. The Masters win underlines his competitiveness and his aspiration to maintain his top position with the UAE for the coming season.
The UAE Ranking Masters is the final tournament of the 2009/10 season with the top 8 ranked players of each age category automatically qualifying for the event. Cash prizes of AED 15,000; gift vouchers of over AED 10,000 and possible equipment contracts from the national sponsors await the winners of the event. Organized for the first time, technical director Slah Bramly comments "The event recognizes the achievements of the players from the last season and it is good practice for the tournaments to come. It is not very often that the top players in the UAE all enter the same tournament and have a chance to play each other. For our Davis Cup team this is a good measuring tool and preparation for the upcoming GCC championships in December."
Almost all top players of the different age categories were able to enter the competition which started on 30 October 2010 at the Royal Meridien in Dubai and will come to an end tomorrow at the Zayed Sports City tennis center. "It is for the first time that such a top local tennis event is hosted in the capital and we look forward to bring more top events to Abu Dhabi. At Tennis Emirates we are committed to develop tennis in Abu Dhabi and this is the first step", adds Bramly.
UAE junior stand out Abdulla Ahli, who already managed to beat top seed Karim Najia in the semi finals, showed great stamina when he also beat number 2 seed Christian Linge in a 3 hours encounter 6-4; 4-6; 6-2 to win his first major UAE title. On a day of upsets, Sofia Sabljarevic showed that her win in the semi finals against number 2 seed Fatma janahi was no surprise by beating top seed and UAE number 1 player in 2009/10 Grace Tahli in three sets 4-6; 6-2; 6-1; This is also the first time that Sofi has beaten the top two ranked players in the same tournament.
Two more finals went with the tournament seeding when top seed in the under 16 boys finals Ishaan Chobal beat number 2 seed Marwan Al Kaissi in two close tie break sets 7-6; 7-6 and Rikeeta Perreira justified her top seed when she dominated Raj Sengupta in the girls under 12 competition 6-0; 6-1 to also win their first national championship titles.
The boys under 18 competition saw Marwan Al Kaissi beating UAE Davis Cupper Rashed Bushagr in three sets (6-7; 6-3; 6-2). Bushagr missed his plane from an event in Saudi Arabia to force him to play his semi final match against Guillaume Saborin in the morning and finally ran out of energy to avoid defeat in the final set. Al Kaissi who had lost the boys under 16 final against Ishaan Chopal the day before, was able to adjust his game to the heavy topspin of Bushagr to score a clean win in the third set.
Abu Dhabi tennis fans had something to cheer about when top seed Karim allaf won his first Masters title in the boys 14 competition by beating UAE prospect Majed Al Falasi in two close sets. Al Falasi had already taken out the number 4 seed Kairm Sobh and number 2 seed Jordan Janzen before surrendering to Allaf who had made it to the finals after beating Fares Janahi in the semi finals.
Rikeeta Perreira was the player of the hour when she overcame Sanajan Sudhir after more than 4 hours of play in three sets 6-7 6-4 6-4. Neither one of the players was ready to give up despite the late hour and the fatigue settling in until Perreira finally gained a crucial break to go up 5-4 in the final set before easily holding serve to win a match which started at 4:30pm and finished way beyond the 8:30 mark.
This was the second title of the event for Perreira who overcame second seed Rai Sengupta in the finals of the girls Under 12 competition 6-1- 6-0 the day before.
The UAE Tennis Ranking Masters is organized by Mediapro Middle East, the marketing partner of Tennis Emirates and received sanctioning from the sanctioned by the National Olympic Committee, Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Dubai Sports Council. Key sponsors of the event were Falak Holding, Wilson Sporting Goods and Raymond Sports, who are committed to support the Tennis Emirates strategy to develop tennis in the UAE.