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Al Janahi calls for more support of UAE tennis

Dubai The UAE’s Hamad Abbas Al Janahi has called for more support for Emirati tennis after early elimination in both the singles and doubles at the Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open.

Lone Emirati wild-cards Al Janahi and Omar Awadhy were knocked out of the doubles after a 6-4, 6-0 defeat to No.1 seeds Daniel Nestor of Canada and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia on Tuesday. It followed defeats for both players in the first round of qualification for the singles at the weekend.

Al Janahi lost 6-2, 6-1 to Thiemo De Bakker of the Netherlands and Awadhy lost 6-0, 6-1 to Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov.

“After coming to this tournament and seeing the big players around me I always think: ‘what’s the difference between me and them?” said 23-year-old Al Janahi. “The only difference is that they play more than me and they have more support.

“If I can get the support they get, I’m not saying I can be like them, but I can still compete. I’m not playing as much and the level is completely different from the Davis Cup. Even the best match in the Davis Cup isn’t one per cent of the match we have played today.”

Al Janahi felt that in order to improve the standard of Emirati tennis, more local sponsors should get behind the game and more should be done to get youngsters playing a higher quality and quantity of tennis at an even younger age.

“We have to take more care of youngsters,” he added. “Find 12-15 players and get good support for them to go out and play more tournaments. From the age of 15 we should have players playing not just in ITF (International Tennis Federation) tournaments but on the Futures Tour like they do in other countries. We have to play at least 12 matches a year and live more like professionals. “Players are good but they get spoilt and compared to outside they are not as good. They have to go out and see the other world of tennis and see that level and even learn from it.

“In tennis the more you play the better you are,” he added. “It’s not necessarily just about training. Playing tournaments gives you confidence to go out on court and perform. We try doing it by ourselves but against a top 10 player it isn’t easy. Against a top 800 or 900 ranked player we might have a chance. If you give a top 10 ranked player the slightest chance you are done.”

Dubai Men’s Open

Novak Djokovic bt Denis Istomin 6-3, 6-3; Tomas Berdych bt Marius Copil 6-3, 6-4; Somdev Devvarman bt Juan Martin del Potro 7-6 (3); Mikhail Youzhny bt Michal Przysiezny 6-3, 6-4; Lukas Rosol bt Daniel Brands 7-6, 6-4; Radek Stepanek bt Michael Russell 5-7, 6-3, 6-1; Malek Jaziri bt Igor Sijsling 0-6, 6-4, 7-6; Sergiy Stakhovsky bt Ivan Dodig 7-6, 6-7, 6-2.