Dubai: Birthday boy Velcz Zsombor of Hungary gave himself a best birthday present after Croatians Petra Marcinko and Sara Svetac led a rare ‘double’ at the end of the 18th Dubai ITF World Tennis Tour (WTT) Championships that concluded at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, on Saturday.

Zsombor, who turned 17 on Saturday, got the better of top seed Javia Dev of India 6-1, 6-4 to pick up his third career title on the ITF WTT.

Marcinko, meanwhile, defeated close friend and fellow Croatian Svetac 6-1, 6-3.

The two Croatian teenage girls had also made it to the final of the tournament held in Fujairah last week with 14-year-old Marcinko had emerged the winner.

Marcinko has been on a winning spree coming into the two ITF competitions in the UAE with a win on debut at a Grade V event in the first part of September before winning her second one barely a week later in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Her third title was in Fujairah last weekend, where she beat the same opponent in straight sets, before her domination of Svetac on Saturday.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything better to mark this birthday,” Zsombor said after receiving his winner’s trophy from Nasser Al Marzouqi, Vice President, Tennis Emirates (TE) and Roberta Julfar, Board Member, TE and Jasmine Micoyco from sponsors Dubai Duty Free.

“This trophy is special as it has come on the right day. My ambitions are to be a professional player at least in the top-100 to start with. For sure, I am going to be playing more Futures from next season so that I can collect the points and achieve my life’s ambition of being the best tennis player in Hungary,” he added.

The girls’ singles final featured the same two finalists from last weekend’s event in Fujairah with the Marcinko emerging the champion for the second time. “We’ve known each other for four years now even though we live in different cities [Zagreb and Split],” Marcinko said.

“It’s tough playing against your friend. It gets difficult at most times as the human element comes to the fore. But it’s the same for both of us, and I am glad that both of us are even richer through this experience of playing each other for the second week in a row,” she added.


Boy’s singles: Velcz Zsombor (Hungary) bt Javia Dev (India) 6-1, 6-4; Girls singles: Petra Marcinko (Croatia) bt Sara Svetac (Croatia) 6-1, 6-3.