BAHRAIN is set to break new ground in the tennis world by hosting the ITF Bahrain Seniors Tennis Tournament (Grade IV) from April 1 to 6, 2020, at the Bahrain Tennis Club in Juffair.
The International Tennis Federation has given its nod and BTC manager Hamdi A Jawad is all excited with the latest development.
“It will be the first time that a ITF seniors event is being held in the region. I’m 100pc sure Bahrain is the first among the GCC countries to be hosting a prestigious event like this,” said Jawad.
BTC is in for a double celebration as well as its dream Grand Stand project is expected to be ready early next year and it will be the showpiece at the ITF event when leading senior players from all over the world are on the island.
The Grand Stand project was envisaged in 2011 but the construction work began only in March this year.
“The project got delayed for various reasons. But the dream is finally coming true and we are all excited about it,” added Jawad.
The Grand Stand, being built at a cost of BD250,000, can house 500 fans and includes 65 VIP seats. It is part of a bigger plan to have 10 courts (from the present eight), a swimming pool, a full-fledged health club and a larger parking arena, added Jawad.
“The ITF Seniors Tour is a global circuit aimed at players aged 35 and over and to provide them with a high quality, enjoyable and competitive experience,” according to the ITF’s official website.
The tour usually consists of around 450 tournaments taking place in 70 nations with 26,000 registered players.
The 2019 ITF Seniors Circuit comprises of World Championships (C1), Regional Championships (e.g. Asian Championships, Grade RC1), Grade A, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3 and Grade 4 (Entry level).
The Bahrain ITF Seniors event is a Grade 4 event.
Competition is held in various age categories, starting from 35+ through to 85+ in men’s and women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles.
“We will be holding competition only in 35+ men’s and women’s singles, 45+, 55+ and 65+ men’s singles, 35+men and women’s doubles and mixed doubles apart from 45+, 55+ and 65+ men’s doubles,” said Jawad, who is also a member of the Arab Seniors Tennis Association.
BTC yesterday expressed their sincere thanks and appreciation to the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs for their unparalleled support to the club’s projects.
“The ministry has taken care of the construction costs of the Grand Stand which is a valuable addition to the club’s top-class facilities and it will help contribute to the overall development of the sport of tennis in the Kingdom of Bahrain,” the club said in a statement.
BTC chairman Khamis Al Muqla, the BTC board, management and staff thank Youth and Sports Affairs Minister Aymen Tawfeeq Almoayed and his team for their utmost attention and care to BTC and to tennis in Bahrain in general, the statement added.