Dubai: The UAE finished second-best for the second year running when they went down 1-2 to Belgium in the finals of the 21st Nations Cup tennis that concluded at the Al Nasr Leisureland courts on Saturday.
After ending runners-up to Australia last year, the home side seemed to be in a better position with the return of their star player Omar Behroozian after a two-year injury lay-off. But they were off to a disappointing start with Michael Van Herck getting past the UAE player in three sets 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.
However, Mahmoud Nader Al Beloushi brought things back on level terms with a 6-2, 6-3 result against Sigi Meeuws to push the encounter into the deciding doubles that the Belgians went on to win 6-4, 6-1 against Behroozian and Al Beloushi.
The women's competition saw new champions with the Czech Republic etching a hard-fought 2-1 win against the United States.
Dita Haurleantova and Dominika Bavorova gave the Europeans a 1-0 lead with a 6-3, 6-3 win against Tracy Schroeder and Carol Cloud, only to see Anna Tozin and Daria Filippova combine for a 6-2, 6-3 win against Linda Mensova and Simona Nichols.
The deciding third match proved the most exciting with Haurleantova and Nichols winning 6-3, 3-6, 10-7 to help the Czechs to their first win ever in this competition.
Abdul Kader Yousuf, general manager, Al Nasr Leisureland, presented the cheques and trophies to the winners in the presence of Waseem Qazi from The Lodge, Rajan Sippy from the Moghul Room, Ritesh Chunni from Gulf Safa Dairy and Slah Bramly, technical director, UAE Tennis Association.
Men: Belgium bt UAE 2-1
Women: Czech Republic bt USA 2-1