Tuesday,21 August, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1274, (10 - 16 December 2015)
Tuesday,21 August, 2018
Issue 1274, (10 - 16 December 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Nice shot

The Heliopolis Tennis Open Championship ended with a whole host of winners, including the disabled, reports Ghada Abdel-Kader

The Heliopolis Tennis Open Championship 2015
The Heliopolis Tennis Open Championship 2015
Al-Ahram Weekly

The Heliopolis Tennis Open is one of the most important tennis championships at the national level. A Grade A tournament, it included all categories: boys and girls under 10, juniors U12, U14, U16, U18, men and women, and the disabled in wheelchairs (men and women).

Beginning on Friday 13 November, it ended on Tuesday 1 December at Heliopolis Sporting Club (HSC), running two days over.

“The championship was so successful this year,” rapporteur of the HSC tennis committee Bahig Al-Zeki said. “It was supposed to end on Sunday 29 November but due to the huge demand and unexpected number of players who competed this year it was extended for two more days. The number of participants became 1,000 players.”

President of the Egyptian Tennis Federation (ETF) Israa Al-Sanhouri said the Heliopolis Tennis Open was one of the most important tennis championship on the national calendar. “It is always a distinguished championship. The arrangement of the whole tournament was very good and well organised. I am so happy that Heliopolis Club held the wheelchair event for the third year.”

Chairman of the championship’s organising committee and HSC board member Ahmed Ragheb told Al-Ahram Weekly, “After success in holding the championship in its new shape this year, we will work on procedures to transform it to an international tournament. We will invite professional and ranked players to participate in it.”

In the closing ceremony, among those honoured was former president of the ETF Ismail Al-Shafie, a world class tennis player in the 1970s, for becoming a member of the International Tennis Federation, as was ETF general referee Hossam Al-Ganaini.

In the boys U8, the first place winners were Omar Mohamed, Youssef Mohamed, Hassan Islam, Mohanad Mohamed, Seif Mohamed, Yassin Mohamed, Mohamed Tarek, Adam Ahmed and Fadi Samih.

In the boys U9, the winners were Ismail Amr, Hassan Ahmed, Yassin Mohamed, Hamza Islam, Omar Mohamed, Abdel-Rahman Raefat, Abdullah Ahmed, Hussein Khaled, Omar Mohamed, Ahmed Mohamed, Omar Samih and Yassin Walid.

In the boys U10, Ahmed Atef, Youssef Fadi, Mohamed Ahmed, Yassin Mahmoud, Farouk Ahmed, Kevin Amgad, Moaz Ihab, Omar Ahmed and Mohamed Wael took top spot.

In the boys U10 gold/silver, Abdel-Rahman Khaled took first and Nour Hisham came second.

In boys U12, Mohamed Ahmed took first place in the singles. Micheal Bassem and Ahmed Hisham won first in the doubles.

In junior men U14, Abdel-Rahman Ahmed from Alexandria Sporting Club won first place in the singles while Belal Ibrahim and Ahmed Atef from Ahli Club won the double event.

In junior men U16, Mohamed Amr from Shooting Club took first place in the single event while Mohamed Amr and Mohamed Khaled were on top in doubles.

In junior men U18, Mohamed Hatem from Shooting Club finished first and Omar Mohamed, also from Shooting, came second. In the doubles, Omar Mohamed and Mohamed Amr won first place.

In the men’s event, Rami Kamal won first place and Mohamed Medhat finished second.

The ETF wheelchair team participated with six women and 20 men. “The number of junior players were very few,” Shaimaa Sami, a member of the Wheelchair Tennis Committee at ETF, said. “They played in the men’s category.”

ETF has four training centres, in the Smash Tennis Academy, Cairo Stadium, Alexandrian Shooting Club and Arab Academy for Science Technology and Maritime Transport in Alexandria. Our players trained there. “This is the third year we participate in the Heliopolis championship but this time with a large number of players,” Sami said.

“The wheelchair tennis committee initially began in 2011. Peter Salah was the first player who played tennis wheelchair. We started with three players; now we are 32.  

“In 2013, we tried to incorporate the able bodied and the disabled. We began to persuade sporting clubs to host able-bodied championships side by side with those with disabilities. Both have the same rules. Some clubs agreed and others did not.”

In wheelchair for men (singles), Tarek Zohdi took first place, Mohamed Sobhi finished second, Ahmed Farouk claimed third place and Ahmed Atef also finished third. In doubles, Ahmed Farouk and Hassan Abdou claimed first place while Ibrahim Al-Hosseini and Tarek Zohdi came in second.

Zohdi, an international disabled player, is the founder of wheelchair tennis in 2009. “I have been playing wheelchair tennis since 2003. I participated in the Grand Slams championships at the US Open,” Zohdi said.

Mohamed Sobhi, a marketer in a multinational company, has been into wheelchair tennis for five years. “I love sports in general,” Sobhi said. “I met Zohdi by chance. He introduced to me wheelchair tennis. I liked the game and I started playing tennis. Last year, I won second place in singles and first place in doubles in the Heliopolis Championship.”   

In the girls U8, tops were Leila Hani, Malek Mohamed, Mariam Mohamed, Joudi Mohamed, Mariam Ahmed, Darrien Hossam, Fairouz Moataz, Amina Ahmed, Salma Ayman and Shams Mohamed.

In the girls U9, the winners were Joudi Amr, Zeina Ahmed, Malak Haitham, Joudi Mohamed, Salma Alaa, Habiba Amr, Jana Karim, Habiba Ahmed and Laila Khaled.

In the girls U10, the winners were Nelly Mohamed, Toffee Haitham, Salwa Mohamed, Layal Youssef, Yara Mohamed, Laila Seif, Kenzi Hani, Nourhan Abdel-Aziz, Kenzi Moataz and Jenni Alaa.

In the girls U10 gold/silver, Mariam Mohamed won first and Laila Islam came second.

In junior girls U12, Malak Bassam from Sporting Club took first place in singles while Maria Fahmi and Natalie Boulos won first place in doubles.

In the junior women U14, Lena Mohsen took first and Hanya Ahmed came second in the single matches. In doubles, Hanya Ahmed and Laila Tarek won first place.

In junior women U16, Dalia Sherif from Ahli Club took first and Fatima Sherif finished second in the singles event. Amira Mohamed and Sherri Ayad won first place in the doubles.

In junior women U18, Mariam Bahig from Heliopolis claimed first place and Farah Mohamed from Al-Zohour Club finished second.

Bahig’s match against Mohamed lasted for more than one hour, delaying the closing ceremony. It was the first time for Bahig to play in the junior women U18 and to win the title at Heliopolis.

“I won the first set. The second set, in the beginning I was up but I lost. The final was is divided into three sets; that’s why the match was so long. I and Mohamed were so close in our performance.”

Bahig’s father watched while his daughter was playing. “It was so confusing. As a father, I was so worried and at the same time I am in the tennis committee. It was a mix of feelings,” he said.

In the women’s event, Dana Gamal from Ahli won first place and Dina Maged took second.

In wheelchair for women’s single, Iman Hassan claimed first place followed by Neama Noha in second. Mageda Badrous and Nada Al-Dafrawi took third. 

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