ITF West Asia 13 & Under Development Championships
Iranian Saba Najafi finished as the best female player of the event at the West Asian 13 & Under Development Championships in Beirut, Lebanon, held on 17–26 September.
Thirty players from Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen participated in two four-day tournaments that followed a one-day training camp conducted by the ITF expert Amir Borghei. Hosted by the Lebanese Tennis Federation, the camp was a chance for the players to be evaluated in technical and physical terms.
Najafi lifted both girls’ singles titles without dropping a set, defeating home player Sara Nassif 62 61 and Dana Mohamad, of Jordan, 62 62 in the finals of the first and second tournaments respectively. Najafi then teamed up with Mohamad to win both the girls’ doubles events, beating the Lebanese pairing of Sara Nassif and Gaelle Abou Abdo 61 61 the first week and 62 62 the following week.
In the boys’ events, 12-year-old Kevin Chahoud, of Lebanon showed his great potential and took top spot in the first singles tournament after beating Bilal Al-Huraibi of Yemen 75 63. In the second week, last year's winner Syrian Hazem Naw enjoyed a great comeback, taking the title again after defeating Chahoud 76 61.
The boys’ doubles event saw Naw and his partner Aziz Ahmed of Yemen end home hopes when they defeated Lebanon’s Chahoud and Karim Slaiby 62 62 in the first week’s final and the Yemeni pairing of Fahmi Alward and Bilal Al-Huraibi in the second week.
The home team showed an impressive improvement in their performance and finished first in the nations’ ranking with Iran and Yemen following in second and third place.
Based on the final rankings from the two events, players from West Asia will be selected to be on the ITF/GSDF team that participates in Division 2 of the Asian 14 & under Development Championships in 2014.