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ITF honour for Bahroozian and Al Baloushi

UAE’s longest-serving players to be honoured by tennis’ world governing body

Gulf News

Dubai: Omar Bahroozian and Mahmoud Nader Al Baloushi, two of the UAE’s longest serving tennis players, have been rewarded with the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) Davis Cup Commitment Award.

Bahroozian and Al Baloushi figure in the list of 299 players who qualify to receive this award in its inaugural year. The ITF is scheduled to present the award to the winners through its National Associations at Davis Cup home ties throughout 2013 as part of the ITF centenary celebrations.

Last week, the ITF announced the launch of the Davis Cup Commitment Award that will be presented at the O2 Arena in Prague during the course of the Davis Cup final between the Czech Republic and Spain from November 16-18. The new award has been conceived as part of the ITF’s Centenary celebrations and will be presented by the world governing body for tennis to Davis Cup players who have shown long-standing dedication to represent their country during the annual competition.

The Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the largest annual international team competition in sport, with 122 nations taking part in 2012. Next week’s 100th Davis Cup final marks the start of the ITF 2013 centenary celebrations.

As per the criteria, each recipient will have competed in a minimum of 20 home-and-away ties or 50 ties at any level of the competition during the course of their career.

The Commitment Award trophies are based on the design of the current Davis Cup trophy and all recipients will also be recognised on an honours board at the ITF headquarters in London.

Tomas Berdych will be among the first to receive the award in an on-court presentation next Saturday (November 17) along with compatriots Jan Kodes and Tomas Smid, who were members of the Czechoslovakia Davis Cup winning team in 1980.

Joining the Czechs in receiving the award will be Spain’s Manolo Santana, who has played a record 46 times for his country, and countrymen Juan Gisbert and Feliciano Lopez.

Nicola Pietrangeli, who holds the overall record of 66 home-and-away ties for Italy, and San Marino’s Domenico Vicini, who is the record holder for number of ties at all levels with 87, are the other two players who will be honoured.

Over 5,000 players in history have taken part in Davis Cup, which began in 1900 as a competition between the US and Great Britain at the Longwood Cricket Club in Boston. The event has grown to become the largest annual international team competition in sport, with 500 players contesting the event each year.