MUSCAT: Players from eight countries will compete in the West and Central Asia regional qualifying tournaments for the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Asia 14 and Under Development Championships 2024 at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex tennis courts from January 8 to 16.
The Oman Tennis Association is hosting international tennis events after a gap of nearly six years. Oman last hosted Davis Cup Asia Group 4 Championships which Oman emerged champions in 2018.
The qualifying event will consist of two tournaments from January 8 to 11 and January 13 to 16 respectively.
Tournament director Mohammed al Balushi said players from eight countries would compete in the two tournaments for boys and girls that will have ranking points.
Players of the age of 14 and under from hosts Oman, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen are taking part in the event.
“The participating countries have two boys and three girls for the tournaments that will have singles and doubles competitions,” Al Balushi said.
An ITF team will be selected from the West and Central Asia qualifying event that include two top boys and two top girls plus one coach.
All singles matches will be the best of three tie-break sets. In doubles, a 10-point match tie-break will be played at one set.
Two nations from the qualifiers will be promoted to the finals of 2025.
The four lowest-ranked nations based on the standings at the finals in 2024 will be relegated to the regional qualifying events of 2025.
The Oman team include Abdul Rahman al Rahbi and Motaz al Mazroui in the boys section, while Areen al Azkawi, Talya al Busaidi and Salma al Riyami are in fray for the girl’s category.
The players expressed confidence to make an impact at the regional
qualifying event. “This will be a good opportunity for us to improve our
rankings and gain international experience,” the players said.
Oman boys coach Sofiane Doub from Algeria said the players are ready for the challenge.
“We had a good training programme that included daily exercises and an internal camp that lasted for several days at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex,” Doub said.
Oman girls coach Sergey Pershian from Russia expressed confidence that his players would show a promising display.
“The girls are well prepared and look forward to giving their best performance in the ITF qualifiers,” Pershian said.
Aseel al Shaheen of Kuwait is the ITF referee while Amir Borghei is the ITF representative for the qualifying tournaments.
The Oman Tennis Association has made all arrangements for the teams at the venue for practice and the players are put up at Al Murooj Grand Hotel.
Iraq, who came on Sunday, was the last team to arrive for the competition while Turkmenistan were the first foreign team to reach Muscat.