Dubai: The opening round of the Tennis Emirates’ UAE Rankings Championships belonged to unseeded players as Rajiv Philip and Philip Jones topped the two veterans’ categories when the finals concluded at the Al Nasr Leisureland (ANL) tennis courts late on Saturday.
Unseeded Philip won the men’s under-45 category with a hard-fought 7-6 (6), 0-6, 1-0 (2) win over Jacques Bechaalani, while another unseeded player Jones wrested the men’s under-35 crown with an equally lop-sided 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (4) win over John Van Zuylen.
The men’s crown went to Dubai-based Iranian Amirvala Madanchi after his opponent Omar Behroozian withdrew from the final following a leg injury. “It is a good sign to have some competitive tournaments under the umbrella of Tennis Emirates that will ultimately lead to determining rankings in the country. But on the other hand, perhaps I got the injury as the body is not accustomed to playing. I am sure this series will go forward and players, especially at the junior levels will benefit tremendously,” Behroozian told Gulf News.
Behroozian had to play his quarter-final and semi-final on successive days with his last eight encounter against Fahad Al Janahi going into three sets. He then got the better of Xavier Masson in Friday’s semi-final, but found his hamstring giving way.
Meanwhile, players from Ferrer Timotic Tennis Academy (FTTA) and Clark Francis Tennis Academy (CFTA) came to the fore while sharing three titles each in the junior boys and girls categories. In an all-CFT final, second seed Rosalen Alioussage got the better of Renee Acena 6-1, 5-7, 7-5 for the girls under-18 crown, while CFT’s Stefanie Bojica, seeded third, eased her way to the girls under-14 title with a smooth 6-2, 6-2 win over Future Pro Tennis Academy’s (FPTA) fourth-seeded Riya Matharo. Earlier in the semi-finals, Bojica had upset top seed Niangadon Coumbaben also from CFT 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (6).
The boys from FTTA were in a league of their own with all four finalists from the academy featuring in the under-16 and under-18 finals. Alvaro Beuno Gil defeated teammate Tristan Thiebaut 6-0, 6-3 for the under-18 title, while Eshaan Lumba got the better of Yousuf Manna 6-2, 6-1 in the under-16 final.
Garv Bahl from FPTA was an easy 6-2, 6-3 winner against Elias Anwar in the boys under-14 final, while third seed Anthony Monkarzel upset top seed Ege Topkoc 7-6 (1), 7-6 (4) in a keenly-contested under-12 final.
Tennis Emirates, the governing body for the sport in the UAE, has begun a mandatory process of registering all tennis academies and schools in the country. A brief survey has shown that there are 108 tennis institutes and academies operating in the country, of which 60 are in Dubai alone. Some of the tennis academies have taken the first step towards putting something back into the sport while lending a helping hand in organising Rankings Tournaments. The first part of the season will continue till the end of the year and the second part will start in January and go on till September 2018.
Girls U-18: Rosalen Alioussage (CFT) bt Renee Acena (CFT) 6-1, 5-7, 7-5
Girls U-14: Stefanie Bojica (CFT) bt Riya Matharo (FPTA) 6-2, 6-2
Boys U-18: Alvaro Bueno Gil (FTTA) bt Tristan Thiebaut (FTTA) 6-0, 6-3
Boys U-16: Eshaan Lumba (FTTA) bt Yousuf Manna (FTTA) 6-2, 6-1
Boys U-14: Garv Bahl (FPTA) bt Elias Anwar (ACD) 6-2, 6-3
Boys U-12: Anthony Monkarzel (CFT) bt Ege Topkoc (SMS) 7-6 (1), 7-6 (4)
Men’s U-45: Rajiv Philip (FTTA) bt Jacques Bechaalani (ADV) 7-6 (6), 0-6, 1-0 (2)
Men’s U-35: Philip Jones bt John Van Zuylen 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (4)
Men’s Singles: Amirvala Madanchi bt Omar Behroozian — walkover