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Egypt's tennis back on track
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 11 - 05 - 2010

The Egyptian players showed their mettle in the seven-day International Tennis Challenger that ended late on Saturday near Cairo.
"Although our players didn't reach the final of the tournament, they put on well," Hani Naser, the director of the tournament, said.
Egyptian stars Sherif Sabri, Karim Maamoun, Omar Hedayet, Tareq el-Essawi, Mohamed Safwat and Mohamed Moussa also proved themselves and advanced to the quarter-finals.
"Such competitions give Egypt's players valuable international experience," Naser added.
The International Tennis Challenger this year drew the participation of more than 160 players from nearly 20 countries.
"This is the first time Egypt has hosted an international ATP tournament for a long time," explained Naser.
The Egyptian Tennis Federation (ETF) board, chaired by Israa el-Sanhouri, is continuing where the previous board left off. Israa is the first woman in Egypt's history elected to lead a major sports federation.
The ETF, established in 1920, joined the International Tennis Federation (ITF) three years later. A skilled tennis player has basic shots in his or her repertoire such as the serve, forehand, backhand, overhead smash, drop shot and lob.
A senior official at the ITF praised the organisation of the event, the courts and the astonishing performance of the Egyptian players.
"From what I've seen, Egypt could really host more international events in the near future," stressed Rogerio Santos, a representative from the ATP, who came to see the tournament.
The Portuguese referee Rogerio Santos, visiting Egypt for the second time, was delighted at the standard of the players in general and the tournament.
Tennis is now being widely played in ten regions all over the country: Cairo, Alexandria, Giza, Port Said, Assiut, el-Minya, Ismailia, the East Delta, the Red Sea and the 6th of October City. Hassan el-Arousi, the General Manager of the Tennis Academy at Palm Hills near the 6th of October City, was also delighted by Egypt's hosting such an international event.
There are around 4,500 players registered in the ETF, representing 77 clubs all over the country. Egypt is the Arab and African leader in this sport.
El-Arousi, who also hopes to see more international tennis tournaments in Egypt, explained that it was very important to bear marketing in mind. "Marketing is of particular concern in the individual sports," he commented. Challenger tournaments offer prizes of between $35,000 and $150,000.
Worldwide, there are millions of players, while hundreds of millions of people follow tennis as a spectator sport, especially the four Grand Slam tournaments (sometimes referred to as the 'majors'): the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.
"Increasing the number of local championships will also help us spot talented new stars with international potential," el-Arousi told the Egyptian Mail.


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