Dubai: German tennis ace Boris Becker will attend the launch of the sixth Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament at Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex on Thursday.
The former World No. 1, six-time Grand Slam winner joins a long list of names who have previously graced the tournament, from footballers Zinedine Zidane to Luis Figo and Karim Benzema to Riyad Mahrez.
The opening ceremony will start at 10pm. Over 5,000 athletes are expected to compete for a total prize-purse of Dh6 million across 11 competitions in Dubai from May 18 to June 6. The tournament is organised by Dubai Sports Council and runs every year during Ramadan, under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council.
“It is a great pleasure for us to announce that Boris Becker, one of the biggest names in the world of tennis, will be a guest of honour at the opening ceremony of this very special edition of the NAS Sports Tournament,” said tournament director Hassan Al Mazrouei.
“We are celebrating this year as the Year of Zayed and this is also the year we are going international with Egypt and Jordan also hosting events. So it is a special moment for us and we are happy to have a great champion grace the opening ceremony.”
It is a great pleasure for us to announce that Boris Becker, one of the biggest names in the world of tennis, will be a guest of honour at the opening ceremony.”
- Hassan Al Mazrouei » Tournament director
Becker, 50, won his first Grand Slam at Wimbledon in 1985 at the age of 17, going on to win that event a total three times, the Australian Open twice and the US Open once. He never won the French Open. Post career he coached Novak Djokovic to six of the Serbian’s 12 Grand Slams between 2013 and 2016.
The latest technology will be made available for this year’s tournament, including ‘VIS’, the system used by volleyball’s world governing body, FIVB, to calculate points scored per individuals. Video technology will also decide winners in the finals and third-place playoffs of the fencing, where 232 players from 21 countries are taking part including Tunisia’s Azza Besbes, who won silver in the sabre at last year’s World Championship.
The fencing tournament will be the first to allow expatriates to represent the UAE, as per recent directives from President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to incorporate expatriate talent into UAE sport.
“That group has shown a great interest in participating in the tournament, and their participation will reflect positively on the strength and quality of the competition,” said Al Mazrouei.