Beach tennis will take place at inaugural event at Al Habtoor Grand Hotel
Beach tennis will take place at Al Habtoor Grand Hotel Image Credit: UAE Tennis Federation

Dubai: The UAE Tennis Federation (UAE TF) will kick-off the first month of the new year with the organisation of two beach tennis tournaments under the supervision of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) at the Habtoor Beach Resort and Spa.

Held with the support of the Al Habtoor International Group and in cooperation with Empower Sports Services, the first of these two tournaments will be held on January 15, while the second one will be held on January 22.

The hosting of the two competitions is an extension of the success achieved by the inaugural Emirates Beach Championship that was held earlier in December to coincide with the 49th UAE National Day celebrations.

Organisers have increased the stakes for the two competitions with the prizes for the second next edition having a total prize fund of $4,000 (Dh14,600) in an attempt to encourage participation from some of the top beach tennis players.

The next tournament on January 15 will see the participation of current World No. 13 Ramon Guedez of Venezuela. Guedez has been active member on the ITF Beach Tennis World Tour with his most recent participation ending with a loss in the semi-finals of the BT50 Porto Alegre in Brazil held from December 4-6.

A former career-high World No. 8, the 32-year-old Guedes had teamed up with Brazilian Miguel Peres Duque de Souza before going down in three sets against Andre Baran and Vinicius Font.

The UAE is among the last few nations joining the beach tennis revolution that is sweeping across the tennis world in recent times. The country’s first ITF Beach Tennis World Tour tournament was held earlier in December as a BT10 category event.

“We have a plan in place to further popularise beach tennis in the UAE. Our bountiful coastline is the best-ever for events of this nature to host tourists who visit,” Nasser Al Marzouqi, General Secretary of UAE TF, said.

“We are looking at a long-term plan in boosting this comparatively new sport so that it can further aid and assist in the development of tourism within the UAE and the region,” he added.

Al Marzouqi insisted that the next two beach tennis competitions will further cement the UAE’s position as a sporting destination for the region. “To ensure our permanent position on the beach tennis calendar we need to continue with such activity so that we can promote this sport across the community and grow the base of this sport,” he remarked.

“The ITF has been pleased with the way we conducted the first tournament earlier in December and this has given us a lot of encouragement to go ahead and pursue a planned calendar on our annual schedule,” Al Marzouqi added.