Sharjah, Mar 6: The fifth KEF Tennis Challenge, an annual invitational tennis tournament hosted by UAE based KEF Holdings, provided a day of nail biting action and stunning displays of tennis prowess and talent during its category A and category B finals in Sharjah.
The final match in category A, consisting of the stronger and more experienced players, saw acrobatic tennis and power shots dominating the match. The Bangalore duo of Rashien Samuel and Kamal Suresh easily disposed of Nikhil Reddy and Pranava Karthik in less than an hour and half, in straight sets 6-3, 6-2.
Category B saw a tense, final showdown between UAE based Zach Faizal and Shaun Keegan Correia and Kenny Pappu and Paul Kunnath from Thrissur. Ultimately Zach and his partner Shaun emerged victorious against their more experienced opponents with a final score of 7-5, 3-6 with a 10-8 in the tie break.
Dr Hossam Eldin Hamdi, vice-chancellor for medical colleges and dean of the faculty of medicine at University of Sharjah and his son, Amr Hamdi had earlier reached the semi-finals of category B. Other semi-finalists included Farhaad Yenepoya and Dr Paul Varghese and Amit Batta and Kirk Rebuyas in category A and Adeep Salim and Ashraf MA in category B.
Close to 70 tennis enthusiasts flew in from India, Holland, USA, Mexico, Philippines, Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, Canada and Uzbekistan to take part in the two-day tournament that was held in the Kempinski Hotel, Ajman and the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sharjah. The finals for both categories were played on the court in the Sharjah villa of Faizal and Shabana.
The tournament was closed out with dinner and the prize-giving ceremony where a total cash prize of US$7,500 was distributed amongst the winners along with specially crafted KEF Tennis Challenge trophies. During the prize-giving, many of the tournament participants appreciated the efforts of Faizal and Shabana and the KEF team for the arrangements leading up to the two days of exciting tennis action and for supporting and encouraging the sport by bringing in more and more participants each year.
KEF Holdings, headquartered in Dubai’s International Financial Center (DIFC), is one of the UAE’s most prominent business groups and Faizal and Shabana Kottikollon are active supporters of the game in the UAE. KEF Sports, a vertical of KEF Holdings, is working on a number of high profile projects to raise the standard and quality of tennis in the UAE and GCC region.
The tournament was kicked off on Friday March 1 with an inaugural 1-set match between the chancellor of the University of Sharjah, Dr Samy Mahmoud and his partner Nasser Alrai, an ex-Davis Cup player from Syria against the duo of Faizal Kottikollon and Ajmal Habeeb.
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