Dubai: UAE ‘A’ and France topped the groups to book their places in the semi-finals of the 25th Al Nasr Leisureland (ANL) Nations Cup being played at the ANL tennis courts.
The UAE ‘A’ and France completed their league engagements with clean records of four wins to top the two groups. In Monday’s last round-robin encounter, the hosts got the better of former champions Belgium, who also joined the UAE in the last four stages. In Group B, France topped with a hard-earned 2-1 win over Tunisia and both teams made it through to the semi-finals.
In Wednesday’s semi-finals, UAE ‘A’ will take on Tunisia, while Belgium will face France to decide the two finalists for Thursday.
The last Group B encounter was the most engrossing as players of two talented teams took to the court to decide who would end at the top.
Long-time UAE resident Xavier Masson gave France the lead with a well-contested 2-6, 6-2, 12-10 win over former Davis Cup player Essam Jallali. But, younger brother Waleed brought Tunisia on level terms with a 6-3, 6-2 win over former ATP Tour player Pierre-Antoine Dumas. France then won the decisive doubles to finish ahead of Tunisia and top Group B.
“Much of the excitement was in the two singles as it featured players with a similar playing level. I knew the key to the match would be concentration and the will to fight till the end,” Essam Jallali told Gulf News.
“We came up short in the end, but we enjoyed the tennis as it gave each one the opportunity to see where we stand. In addition, there is the element of fun as we rarely get such a team competition,” he added.
The semi-finals will be played from 4pm on Wednesday and the final will be held on Thursday.