Sunday,18 March, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1271, (19-25 November 2015)
Sunday,18 March, 2018
Issue 1271, (19-25 November 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Tennis, everyone?

Top stars from Egyptian sporting clubs competed at the Heliopolis Tennis Open Championship, Ghada Abdel-Kader reports

Al-Ahram Weekly

The Heliopolis Tennis Open is one of the most important tennis championships at the national level. The club has been hosting it annually since the mid-1950s. It is a Grade A tournament, the top end in the national ranking. The tournament includes all categories: boys and girls U10, juniors U12, U14, U16, U18, men and women, and disabled in wheelchairs (juniors, men and women).

This year, more than 700 male and female players from all Egyptian sporting clubs in the governorates are participating in the 2015 Heliopolis Tennis Open Championship which began on Friday 13 November at Heliopolis Sporting Club (HSC). The championship will end on Sunday 29 November. The closing and awards ceremony will be held at 6pm.

The competition is being held on nine tennis courts.

So far, in the U-8 boys, the winners in the first places in each group were Hassan Islam, Mohanad Mohamed, Seif Mohamed, Yassin Mohamed, Mohamed Tarek and Adam Ahmed.

In the boys U8 in the gold/silver Group A, Omar Mohamed won first place, Yehia Omar second and Omar Mohamed third.  

In the boys U8 in the gold/silver Group B, Youssef Mohamed won first place, Seifeddin Mustafa came second and Ali Alaaeddin finished third.

In the boys U10 white/bronze, the winners in the first places in each group were Ahmed Atef, Youssef Fadi, Mohamed Ahmed, Yassin Mahmoud, Farouk Ahmed, Kevin Amgad, Moaz Ihab, Omar Ahmed and Mohamed Wa’el.

Usually at the international level, tournaments are graded according to the strength of entry. Most ranking points are awarded at Grade A events and the fewest points at Grade Five tournaments. The same applies to the national level.

Chairman of the championship’s organising committee and HSC board member Ahmed Ragab told Al-Ahram Weekly, “After I headed the organising committee this year I tried to create a new atmosphere with an international spirit. You will find logos, brochures and advertisement boards of the tournament everywhere in the club, on the ground and even pasted on trees. We are looking to make it to international championships. We will bring professional players from the top 100 in the world. This will be our first step towards hosting international championships in tennis, much as in other sports like speedball and water polo.

“This year, the number of competitors increased. They include all age categories in addition to single and doubles matches. It raises the national ranking of players more than any other championships by adding more points to a player’s national ranking. It enables the player after that to compete in international championships which specify certain rankings at the national level. Only two clubs in Egypt have hosted Grade A tournaments, HSC and Al-Gezira,” Ragab said.

Rapporteur of the HSC tennis committee Bahig Al-Zeki said the Heliopolis Open was one of the oldest championships in the Egyptian Tennis Federation (ETF). “The Grade A tournament means it only accepts participants with very high national rankings. The level of the tournament is very high. The competition is furious. The result this year will decide if we are going to the international level. We have all the facilities either here or in our branch club in Al-Shorouk City.”

“All the top players of different ages are participating. There is no money prize; only medals, trophies and presents from sponsors,” added Al-Zeki.

On disabled tennis players in wheelchairs, Al-Zeki said, “We found that a lot of disabled people love tennis. So, we try to encourage them. There is a wheelchair tennis committee in ETF. HSC is only club which has this competition for the disabled every year.”

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