Dubai: The best of tennis players in seven age categories from across the country will be involved in the first-ever Tennis Emirates Circuit Masters at the Al Nasr Leisureland courts till Saturday.

The best eight players from seven age categories including men, boys under-12, under-14, under-16 and under-18 and girls under-14 and under-18, will be involved in a knock-out format in singles and doubles over the weekend to decide the best of the lot.

“While we welcome the huge support we have received for this new initiative from some of the tennis academies operating with the UAE, we would also like to request the others to step forward and assist us in the systematic development of tennis right from the grassroots level,” Nasser Al Marzouqi, General Secretary, Tennis Emirates, told media at the formal opening on Thursday.

“As the latest instructions from the authorities such as the General Authority of Sports (GAS) and the Dubai Sports Council (DSC), we have been told to regulate sports in the UAE. Right now, we have the cooperation and coordination from perhaps 20 per cent of the academies her. It’s a win-win situation for all and we would gladly welcome any assistance and cooperation from any of these academies,” he added.

As per a survey carried out recently by TE, there are at least 170 tennis academies operating in the country. “We are aware that some of these academies may be either too small or perhaps some of them may be hiding behind the bushes. We look forward to more involvement and commitment from these academies as well,” Al Marzouqi stressed.

Sponsored by DP World, Tennis on Demand, Club Med Tennis Academies, Dr George John’s Transform, TPS Tennis and PDL Coffee Company among others, the semi-finalists in all seven categories were to be known at the end of Thursday after which the semi-finals will be held on Friday and all the finals on Saturday. The presentation of trophies and certificates will be held at ANL from 1pm on Saturday.