(MENAFN- Emirates News Agency (WAM))
DUBAI, 24th March, 2023 (WAM) – Thrilling Padel Championship matches kicked off the biggest highlight of the UAE's Ramadan sports events, the Nad Al Sheba (NAS) Sports Tournament 2023 in Dubai, on Thursday.
Held under the theme 'Limitless Abilities' and organised 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.
The opening day of the 10th edition of the NAS Sports Tournament witnessed strong competition among the participants in the 100-point local classification category in the round of 32, where 16 matches were played.
The padel competition has attracted 500 players, including professionals and amateurs.
Dominating the opening match of the championship, Roberto Rodriguez and Martin Nochez brushed aside Marawan Al Qaisi and Ishaan Shubal 6-1, 6-2.
Rodriguez and Nochez gained the upper hand from the beginning and didn't allow their rivals to flex their muscles. After winning the first set with ease, they kept up the pressure on Qaisi and Shubal and wrapped up the match quickly.
Jonathan Green and Colin Marshall had to dig deep to battle past Muhammad Al-Hooli and Bilal Guerni 6-4, 4-6, 10-8.
Green and Marshall managed to win the opening set but were taken aback in the second set. They overcame their opponents in the marathon tiebreaker.
Omair Al Zarouni and Humaid Bin Lahej staged a brilliant rally to beat Khaled Al Falasi and Khalfan Belhoul 3-6, 6-3, and 10-7.
Issa Al Marzouqi and Ahmed Mustafa also recovered from a set down to beat Hamad Abdullah and Muhammad Al Muhairi 6-2, 2-6, 11-9.
Saood Al Arif and Nasser Al Balushi defeated Saeed Al-Manana and Abdullah Al Suwaidi 6-4, 7-6, and Hamad Al Mazmi and Muhammad Al-Qasim outlasted Muhammad Al-Falasi and Saeed Malik 4-6, 6-2, 10-2.
Mohammed Al Shamsi and Daniel Dupazo sweep aside Mahmoud Lattar and David William 6-0, 6-0. Francisco Rodriguez and Ignacio Gonzalez made a winning start with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Virender Chauhan and Aminu Adam.
In other matches, Abdullah Abdulaziz and Faris Al Janahi beat Maria Martinez and Fova Nikolenko 6-2, 6-0; Salem Al-Houli and Andres Vera defeated Sami Al-Sayed and Julio Perez 7-6, 6-3; Ranjan Paradeep and Rabih Al-Maristani drubbed Hamdan Al-Janahi and Muhammad Al-Janahi 6-0, 6-3, and Ali Al-Aref and Victor Mina overcame Emilio Mesas and Jaswan Bebo 4-6, 6-3, 12-10.
Gonzalo Torres and Fabrizio Guerrero battled past Carl Shafik and Claudio Casasica 3-6, 6-4, 10-3, and Muammar Amin and Nasser Hamouda defeated Muhammad Al-Buflasa and Abdullah Al-Shamsi 5-7, 6-3, 10-6.
Prominent padel players Javier Lopez and Sergio Alchorisa started their campaign with a thumping 6-0, 6-0 win over Artem Budovkin and Mohammed Al-Nuaimi. Hamad Al-Janahi and Maher Joseph advanced following the withdrawal of Michael McSoudian and Jad Rabahi.
Saeed Mohamed Al Marri, Secretary General of the UAE Padel Association, was delighted with the overwhelming response to the Padel Championship and credited the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament for the growth and popularity of the sport in the Emirates.
Confirming the participation of 500 players, Marri said: "The number of players competing in the Paddle Championship during the tenth edition of the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament has increased ten times since the first edition, which debuted in 2013.
"The game was introduced by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, and in the UAE it was first held at the Nad Al Sheba tournament. With Sheikh Hamdan's unwavering support and the visionary role of Sheikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Padel Association, padel went to become the most developed and rapidly expanding game in recent years," Marri added.
Marri stated that UAE's national team is well prepared for the NAS International Padel Championship and expressed confidence in their performance at the event.
The UAE team last year won the GCC Championship at the NAS Sports Tournament.
Marri added that the competitions were distributed so that the team's players could compete in the local categories first, followed by the international gold category, which helps them prepare effectively for the international championship.
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