DUBAI // Rikeetha Periera overcame a jittery and tearful start to win the girls' under 14 and under 12 titles at the Dubai Duty Free Barclays Junior Tennis Championships yesterday. The 11-year-old sobbed at every missed point in the U14 final against Sanjana Sudhir before winning 6-1, 6-3. Immediately after, the Indian High School student, who trains at Al Wasl, returned to blank Rai Sengupta 6-1, 6-2 for the U12 title.
"She cries in every match," said her father Rudalf. "You cannot really do anything about that. It's just a waste of time trying to talk her out of it. She is like that. Once the emotions are out, she starts playing good tennis. "But she does need to get over this habit if she wants to move on to bigger things. We hope she will start playing the ITF (International Tennis Federation) in the near future and then we will see where it takes her."
In the boys' under 12 tournament, Karim Najia looked in absolute control as he downed Alex Smith 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 to win the title. Just nine-years-old, Karim blunted the height and power advantage of his opponent with some deft touches. "The match was so close," said his father Aboudi. "It could have gone either way. Both kids deserved to win each set. I guess one of the boys just had the stronger will.
"It's been an incredible organisation by Tennis Emirates," he added. "Compared to where we were last year, phenomenal. The whole organisation, the website, the umpiring, the facilities. It's come on leaps and bounds." Karim Allaf won the boys' under 14 crown, defeating Hugo Perier 6-2, 7-5. Angel Mazon prevailed 11-9, 11-4 over Aisha Behroozian in the girls' under 10 final, while Sushanth Satish took the corresponding boys' title with a 7-11, 11-3, 11-8 win over Mohammed Kamber.