DUBAI: Sheikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Padel Association, crowned Benjamin Tison and Victor Mena as the winners of the first International Padel Federation (FIP) Gold Category event of the season held as part of the 10th Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament.
Held under the theme ‘Limitless Abilities’ and organized by the Dubai Sports Council (DSC), the NAS Sports Tournament is the biggest event of its kind in terms of participation and prize money, and has been held every year in the Holy Month of Ramadan since 2013 at the iconic Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex.
Tison and Mena won the title after beating Ruben Rivera and Andrea Mercadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the thrilling final on Sunday.
The ‘Uncle Saeed’ team, consisting of Sheikh Saeed and Arsham Morad, failed to reach the semi-finals of the UAEPA 10 category.
Anshul Choubal and Ishaan Choubal defeated Sheikh Saeed and Arsham Morad 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 to set up a showdown with Nicola Sciascia and Biel Ballester, who edged past Issa Al-Marzouqi Sharif and Ahmed Mustafa 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.
In the women’s quarter-finals of the UAEPA 10 category, Maria Ibrahim and Amina Ali advanced after beating Arancha Suster and Mariana Norena 6-4, 5-7, 10-5; Aisha Al-Awadhi and Andrea Soto beat Najla Issa and Noura Al-Hashemi 6-2, 7-5; Elizabeth Hernandez and Aisha Yateem defeated Fiana Hernandez and Tsedale Haptimer 6-0, 6-2; Guadeloupe de San Felix and Gabriela Duch overcame Khadeejah Sani and Hafsah Sani 7-5, 6-4, 10-8.
In the U-16 category quarter-finals, Ahmed Al Hashemi and Issa Ahli defeated Abdullah Ahli and Mohammed Ahli 6-4, 6-3; Faris Al Muhairi and Fahad Al Houli brushed aside Hamdan Al-Hashemi and Ahmed Al-Hashemi 6-0, 6-2; Rashid Kamal and Hamad Abdullah swept past Mohammed Abdullah and Mohammed Ahli 6-1, 6-1; Saif Al-Hammadi and Qassim Al-Sharafi beat Abdullah Al-Zarooni and Hamdan Kazim 6-0, 6-0.
The volleyball tournament, which features international players, witnessed another round of intense duels.
Zabeel, who are led by top Iranian players, defeated Al Khalidiya 3-0. They started well, won the closely contested first set, and later never looked back. Zabeel won the next two sets without much fuss.
Al Jawareh, who finished as runners-up last year, started their campaign with a 3-0 (25-13, 25-21, 25-23).
Abdulaziz Al Salman, Secretary General of the UAE Volleyball Federation, said that the Nad Al Sheba Sports volleyball tournament has been successful in becoming a top-notch event with the remarkable participation of top international players from around the world and the high level of competition.
'The volleyball tournament has been closely associated with the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament since its inception ten years ago, which has continued throughout this time and grown into one of the most significant competitions of the game not only at the local level but also at the Arab and international levels,' he said.
'We applaud the organizing committee for the volleyball tournament's continued participation in the competition for the past 10 years, especially because it is a well-liked tournament among fans during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Salman emphasized that all of these factors serve the game's interests locally, in addition to providing several technical advantages to the players and the sport in the UAE.
Elsewhere, the Dubai Police GHQ team took top spot in Group A after defeating the Dubai Courts team 31–20 in the wheelchair basketball tournament held at the Dubai Club for People of Determination.
The Al Bustan Center and Residence team defeated the Department of Finance 26–19. In Group B, the RTA team defeated the Community Development Authority team 24-20; Dubai Ambulance beat Ability Life 28-18. RTA are on top of the group with 4 points from two wins, followed by Dubai Ambulance Corporation with 2 points from one victory.
The tournament matches are officiated by a number of international referees from the Basketball Association, including Hassan Haji, Yacoub Ghabish, and Salem Al Zaabi.
Ashraf Abu Zaid, an Egyptian star and Dubai Police player, expressed his happiness to participate in the tenth edition, stressing that it is the second time he participates with Dubai Police in the tournament, and the last time was 2018.
Abu Zaid added: 'Last season, I won the championship with Khorfakkan Club for the Disabled and was the top scorer of the tournament. I hope to win the title again.'
He pointed out that the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament puts special attention on people of determination.