Kolkata: The organisers of Dubai Responsibility Free Tennis Championships are relieved that the higher a part of the event is already, however has a fervent prayer on their leaps for the 2022 version – that of seeing the group again. The knowledgable, and constant crowd, have added to the character of the event over time however the ‘new regular’ meant it needed to be an occasion behind closed doorways.
Sparing a thought concerning the crowd, Salah Tahlak, the Event Director mentioned their position in making a ‘‘nice ambiance’’ on the Centre Court docket has been at all times a given. ‘‘It has been a special expertise internet hosting a event with out followers. Our followers are very passionate and knowledgable the game they usually create such an amazing ambiance within the Dubai Responsibility Free stadium when their favorite gamers are on courtroom.
‘‘We’ve so many nice reminiscences of when Centre Court docket is totally full and the sound modifications from the roar of the group when a participant hits an amazing shot to absolute silence the place you would hear a pin drop second when a participant is about to serve for an important level. All of these components had been lacking this yr however I feel that everybody understands that it is a necessity so as to guarantee the protection of all of the gamers and officers concerned with the event. Hopefully, every thing shall be again to regular subsequent yr and we are going to as soon as once more return to a full home,’’ Tahlak mentioned.
The event confronted challenges on a number of fronts – if internet hosting it with strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols was one, a stellar line-up in each the WTA and ATP line-ups took a little bit of hit with some late pullouts on account of accidents and the eight-time winner Roger Federer staying away after his exit from Qatar occasion. Admitting that such issues are par for the course, the official instructed Gulf Information throughout an unique chat: ‘‘We had an amazing response from gamers to this yr’s event because the gamers love coming to Dubai and they’re eager to maintain taking part in. We had 4 of the highest 10 and 11 of high 20 ladies gamers signed up together with our former champions Elina Svitolina, Belinda Bencic and Petra Kvitova. Sadly, we misplaced a number of the gamers on account of damage, which is a typical occurance however the area was one of many strongest now we have had.
‘‘Likewise for the lads, we had three of high 10 and eight of high 20 signed up together with world no.4 Dominic Thiem, No.8 Andrey Rublev and former Dubai winner Roberto Bautista-Agut. Sadly, we had quite a lot of gamers drop out, together with eight-time winner Roger Federer however we want him nicely as he makes his comeback this yr.’’
The dates of the Dubai occasions needed to be re-jigged and pushed again to March in view of the change of dates of Australian Open, the primary slam of the yr, in addition to the uncertainty over each the ATP and WTA calendars.
‘‘Internet hosting the event following the Covid-19 protocols has been a really new expertise however I’m delighted to say that now we have had nice assist from the UAE authorities and significantly the Dubai Sports activities Council and Dubai Well being Authority who’ve been an amazing assist. We’ve additionally had nice assist from the WTA and ATP and all of our efforts have ensured that the event can go forward, that gamers are working, in addition to the officers, so that may be a good factor,’’ Tahlak summed it.
The event had actually come a good distance from the sooner days, when Tahlak used to jet all the way down to main tournaments around the world to contact the gamers. With the DDF occasion getting a thumbs-up from each gamers’ our bodies, has it turn out to be any simpler for him to rope in gamers for the event?
‘‘The Dubai Responsibility Free Tennis Championships has been working since 1993 for the ATP week and since 2001 for the WTA week, so the event has an excellent repute among the many gamers and the organising our bodies. The gamers and officers love coming to Dubai at the moment of yr and we make it possible for we glance after them very nicely.
‘‘We’ve nice amenities for the gamers and this yr, we put in an outside gymnasium on the lawns for the gamers in order that they might have their very own coaching amenities. So we often have an amazing area of gamers yearly and over time, now we have had the easiest and we anticipate that to proceed,’’ he signed off.