More than 300 tennis players are expected to participate in the region's largest tennis participation event, the Abu Dhabi Wilson Tennis Cup, which will take place from 4 – 25 March at Zayed Sports City.
The fourth edition includes twenty divisions in the Open and Cup categories which ensure play is evenly matched across the 500 expected entries. It is the only tournament that allows athletes to enter into multiple divisions, separating men, women, boys and girls by both age and skill. It is lauded by the community for its inclusive atmosphere and development opportunities.
Among those committed to participate is Peter Wessels, defending champion in the prestigious Men's Open category and former ATP 47. Commenting on the tournament, he explained its significance for the local tennis scene: "Having so many players, parents and supporters around at the beautiful location of Zayed Sports City really makes you feel part of a club, something that is quite unique in the UAE.
"I believe it's very important for the development of tennis players to have these tournaments, so players can match up and lift each other up to a higher level. It is also a great opportunity for people that are usually not involved in tennis to see and experience how much fun it can be."
Wessel's counterpart, three-time undefeated Women's Open Champion, Magali De Lattre, commented: "I encourage my friends and even my students to join the tournament because there is a good mix of strong and not-so-strong matches for everyone, so it is a fun way to enjoy the sport with friends."
The tournament is supported by Wilson, Sport 360, Abu Dhabi Sports Council and PSS Emirates. It has seen a significant year-on-year rise in attendance, growing from 83 players in 2013 to 339 last year. The organisers, Zayed Sports City, expect the competition to be at capacity this year.
Barry Bremner, General Manager of Zayed Sports City, said: "The Abu Dhabi Wilson Tennis Cup has been a complete hit with the players and really encompasses the spirit of the sport. It's about inclusiveness, sportsmanship and personal growth. The response from tennis players around the country has been incredible and anyone who wants to participate should register early so as not to miss out."
Kamyar Minachi, Managing Director for Wilson Middle East said: "Wilson is a worldwide racket sports leader brand for its high quality tennis equipment and it so follows that we would associate with high quality tennis programmes like the Abu Dhabi Wilson Tennis Cup. It's clear to me there is no better amateur tennis tournament in the region and that is why we wholeheartedly support it year on year."
Entries for the fourth Abu Dhabi Wilson Tennis Cup are now open. Registrations are accepted at the International Tennis Centre or by contacting Laith Al Ani at email@example.com or 050 4640824. Fees range from AED 80 to AED 150 per entry.