By Abdellatif Sharaa
KUWAIT: A thrilling and exciting match came to an end of the second Arab Masters Tennis Tournament that was held at Sheikh Jaber Al-Abdallah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah International Tennis Complex. The final match was between 19 year-old Jordanian Abdallah Shelbayeh and Lebanese Benjamin Hassan, Shelbayeh dropped the first set 4-16 and came back to win the second set 6-3 and the players resorted to a 10 point super tie break, which Shelbayeh won the score of 10-8, and was declared champion of the second master edition.
The Jordanian team of Mousa Al-Kotop and Abdallah Shelbayeh lost the doubles final match to Tunisians Aziz Dougaz and Iskandar Al-Mansouri by the score of 3-6, 3-6. The Jordanian team was declared the outstanding team of the tournament for winning the singles title and runner up of the doubles.
In his closing speech President of Arab and Kuwait Tennis Federations Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Abdallah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah said the 2nd Masters tournament was a total success technically, organizationally and at the media level. He said players were able to display their best making the competition exciting and entertaining. He said the strong and tough matches in all rounds showed the Arab media and Tennis fans and high level Arab players were enjoying, and hoped they come back next year for the next edition.
He said the masters tournament aims at helping Arab players to move to the international level, and that became real by granting winners of first and second place a wild card to participate in the Dubai and Qatar open tournament. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber said the success of this event was due to joint efforts of Arab federations and support of tournament sponsors.
Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber recognized the efforts of Kuwaiti umpires, organizers, committees and ball boys who added to the tournament success. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber said there are plans to hold qualifiers for the World Cup and Davis Cup competitions at Sheikh Jaber Al-Abdallah Al-Sabah International Tennis Complex.
Meanwhile Jordanian Princess Lara Al-Faisal was happy and proud of the achievement of Abdallah Shelbayeh, adding “I am pleased with the technical standard the final match had, adding that Arab Tennis has a bright future as participants gave an outstanding performance.
Jordanian Abdallah Shelbayeh was happy to win the title following a strong match with the Lebanese Benjamin Hassan, that had to be decided by a tie break, and he was satisfied with the outstanding organization by Kuwaiti Tennis Federation. He said the tournament was of a high standard at all stages by outstanding Arab players who exerted so much efforts to win.
The final match was attended besides Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Abdallah Al-Sabah, Acting Director of Public Authority for Sports Mahmoud Abul, Chairman of Kuwait Equesterian Federation Masoud Hayat, Chairman of Kuwait Table Tennis Federation Ali Al-Dabbous, Tunisian Ambassador Al-Hashimi Ajaili, Algerian Ambassador Abdelmalek Buhiddo, Assistant Director General of Ahli Bank Mohammad Behbehani, Chairman of KGL Fadhel Al-Baghli, KAC CEO Maan Erzouqi along with other dignitaries.