Abu Dhabi: Former Davis Cup star Peter Wessels confirmed his status as the best tennis player in the region by winning the Abu Dhabi Wilson Tennis Cup Men’s Open title at Zayed Sports City on Sunday.
The 34-year-old Dutchman, once ranked in the top 70 players in the world, beat long-standing rival Omar Behroozian in straight sets 6-1, 7-6 on Court One at the International Tennis Centre.
Local hero Behroozian showed great spirit to win the first three games of the second set but, in the end, Wessels’ powerful serve and craft at the net in the decisive tiebreak were too much for the UAE player, who has now been defeated by the Dutchman in the last three finals in which the two have met.
After his victory, Wessels, who is a coach for Zayed Sports City-based PSS-Emirates, said: “It was very tough today. Matches against Omar are always tough, even when I win in two sets. Physically for me, this was the toughest final I have played against him. I was really struggling out there, but I made it and I am very happy.
“I have a few players who I can hit with and that keeps me in shape, but not like Omar, who still hits very well from the baseline and I really have to work hard for it,” said Wessels, who also claimed the mixed doubles title with PSS-Emirates colleague Feline Charlot.
Behroozian also picked up an award, winning the men’s doubles with partner Dale Fawcett. The ladies’ title was won by Magali De Lattre, who beat Dragana Zaric in a gripping final.
An awards ceremony after the finals brought a fantastic two weeks of tennis at Zayed Sports City to a close, during which time 495 players of all ages competed in the UAE’s biggest amateur tennis event.
The awards were presented by Barry Bremner, General Manager at Zayed Sports City, who expressed his desire to build on the success of this year’s Wilson Tennis Cup. “We have been delighted with the response from throughout the UAE and we hope to make this event even more popular in future years,” he said.
“Zayed Sports City occupies a unique position within the community and we see it as a cornerstone of our organisation to encourage local people to play sport and adopt a healthy lifestyle. It is events like the Abu Dhabi Wilson Tennis Cup which ensure we achieve this goal.
“I would like to congratulate all the winners in each of the categories, but everyone who took part deserves credit for making the first Abu Dhabi Wilson Tennis Cup such a success. The standard of tennis in both the youth and adult sections was extremely high and reflects the potential of players within the UAE. I would like to thank sponsors Wilson, co-organisers PSS-Emirates and the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Tennis Emirates for their support.”