Working on bringing an ATP open in Kuwait following Dubai and Doha
KUWAIT: “There will be a third ATP tournament following Qatar and Dubai. We will attract World Champions to Kuwait Open”, President of Kuwait and Arab Tennis Federations Sheikh said during a press conference held with the visiting President of the Asian Tennis Federation and Vice President of International Tennis Federation Anil Khana, who is also running for ITF president during its general assembly to be held in September.
Sheikh Ahmad said Khana, besides campaigning to get elected as ITF President, also visited the Sheikh Jaber Al-Abdallah Al-Jaber International Tennis Complex. There he expressed his amazement at the structure and considered it one of the best in Asia and the world. “We hope the complex will be open on schedule in January” he said. He added that the Rafael Nadal Tennis Academy will be opened in Kuwait soon, the first one of its kind to be opened outside of Kuwait. Sheikh Ahmad said that Nadal himself will be playing in the opening match of the complex, adding that as a legend to the game “we hope to gain from his experience”.
He added that they will seek the support of ATF and ITF in getting the expertise, programs and scientific methods used in developing and spreading Tennis’ popularity in Kuwait. ATF had been cooperative and expressed their readiness to ensure the success of events that are held in the new complex. Sheikh Ahmad said “we will not ignore the individual sports clubs, rather we will support them so that they can have the bases to provide national teams with players, and we hope that they work with us, so that we can get players who can represent Kuwait at the highest level at all Arab, Asian and International events”. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber thanked the Public Authority for sports and its Director General Dr Humoud Fulaiteh and his Deputy Dr Saqer Al-Mulla for their support.
A vision and a dream
Meanwhile visiting President of ATF Anil Khana said that “it is a great privilege to be in Kuwait as I can see the dream of Sheikh Ahmad coming through. I’ve known Sheikh Ahmad for many years have had the privilege of taking his guidance in many issues over the years. When Sheikh Ahmad was planning to build a tennis complex, he had a vision and a dream to making the finest complex in Asia if not the entire world”.
He said that he saw the complex, its outdoor, indoor and supplementary facilities and found them to be world-class facilities, and “I am happy to say, with this kind of infrastructure that Sheikh Ahmad dreamed of will do extremely well for the children of Kuwait and the future of Kuwait tennis and will indeed give a great benefit to all of tennis in West Asia”. Khana said Kuwait has been in the forefront of the West Asia Tennis, Davis Cup and various other activities that have been going on. The juniors have also been doing well, he added.
He said all this is because of the dedication of the KTF president and his team which has done splendid work over the years. Anil Khana said he is happy to learn that he will be having some major tournaments coming up in 2020. Sheikh Ahmad mentioned his desire to see whether we can have an Asian tennis facility in this place which is a perfect facility. Responding to a question about his program if he wins the ITF presidency, Khana spoke about funds in national federations saying that “there is no way for national federations to generate funds for the sport and support the development activities”.
Khana said Kuwait had exceedingly done well in the Davis Cup when compared to other West Asian countries. He added that the last one or two years have become challenging but with little difficulty. “I am sure the history of Kuwait Tennis for the last 10 years has been significant, now with the focus on youth, I am sure Kuwait Tennis will continue to do very well.” Sheikh Ahmad Jaber Al-Abdallah Al-Sabah gave special thanks to Jassim Al-Marzouq, Tamdeen and the spirit companies for their efforts in the tennis complex projects who have ensured that progress is going on as scheduled.
By Abdlellatif Sharaa