Diaz and Sanchez begin in style; Zabeel taste victory

Diaz and Sanchez begin in style; Zabeel taste victory

Diaz spurred Sanchez even more as he maintained pressure on the opponents with sheer touch play and class.

By Moni Mathews (Principal Correspondent)

Published: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 2:10 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:12 PM

Axiom (orange) makes an effective block against Dubai 2021 in the first set on day three of the volleyball championship at the NAS Sports Ramadan Tournament. — Supplied photo

Dubai — World class padel tennis players were on show on day three of the 3rd Nad Al Sheba (NAS) Ramadan Sports Tournament at the NAS Sports Complex during the early hours of Wednesday.

Played in two parallel complexes at the impressive venue near the Meydan horse racing track during late night and into the early hours the next day of the Ramadan period (till July 10), the volleyball and padel tennis events again drew big crowds of well over 1,000 spectators for the third straight day.

Reigning singles world champion Juan Martin Diaz and partner Maxi Sanchez shocked defending champions Martin Di Nenno and Franco Stupaczuk as the international padel tennis doubles competition got under way.

Nenno and Stupaczuk had no answer to the court craft shown by their experienced opponents. The veterans hardly gave the defending champions any chance to fight back with breaks in the second, fourth and sixth for a 6-0 result.

Diaz spurred Sanchez even more as he maintained pressure on the opponents with sheer touch play and class. The winners held serve once each to wrap up set and match in just over one hour 6-0, 6-2.

Eight pairs from abroad have been invited to participate in the international edition of the padel championships which has an open and team categories as well. These pairs will play each other in the preliminary rounds with the best two from each group going to the semifinals on June 27.

Defending champions and two time winners Fohood Zabeel, inspired by Man of the Match Abdul Redha Ghanem, defeated Commandos 25-23, 25-12, 25-15 in the second match of the third day’s volleyball competition at the main stadium.

The all black outfits were streets ahead of their all white opponents except in the first set which the Commandos stretched the issue till as late as 23all.

Earlier in the night, Majid Thani played a wonderful universal role as Dubai 2021 inflicted on the familiar all-orange Axiom outfit a 25-20, 25-16, 25-14 defeat after the winners fumbled with no less than 11 serves in the match.

This was the second straight defeats for the Commandos and Axiom, which meant that they are more or less sure of having to fight out for the minor placings. For Dubai 2021 and Fohood Zabeel it was their second win in as many matches in Group A and B respectively.

“I have accompanied my cousins and brother to spend time after ifthar tonight (Wednesday),” said Rheem A. who sat glued to her seat throughout the two volleyball matches. I was present for the first two nights as well. Volleyball is long drawn but it’s nice to see so many spectators come this far to enjoy sports.”

Two volleyball fans went home all cheered up after they won mobile phones following the daily night raffle draw. “This is a great night of sport and even more special for us as we are so thrilled at being able to own new mobile phones,” Masood Ahmed and Hanif M. said.

Held under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council (DSC), this year’s tournament is being held in six different sports disciplines including futsal, volleyball, a 10km road run, a 70km cycling race, wheelchair basketball and archery with a total prize fund of Dh8 million for the various winners.

The wheelchair and archery events will be held at the club for differently abled people in Qusais near Al Ahli Club from tonight (Thursday). Competitions in Qusais like the ones at the NAS indoor complex, run from 10pm to past 1.30am in these disciplines.







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