U13 West Asian Tennis Tournament: Interview with ITF Expert Amir Borghei

The 2014 under 13 West Asian tennis tournament, took place in Lebanon from October 14 till October 25, under the supervision of the Asian and international tennis federations.

Here is an exclusive interview with ITF expert Amir Borghei, who was sent by the Asian federation to supervise the tournament.

First of all Amir, can you give us your opinion about the tournament?

The tournament, as the name says, is for the under 13, which means winning or losing is not what matters most. The main purpose is to develop the young players, help them grow into professional players, both in their game and attitude. Moreover, the tournament’s structure gives the kids many games to play, as everyone keeps playing from the first till last day, no matter the result. Also, the fact that the tournament is divided into 2 events, help the players learn from their mistakes in the first week, take advice from their coach and other players, and get better in the second week.

What are the differences between different group age tournaments?

The format of the tournaments, depends on the age of the participants. The younger you are, the more games you get. That is the case of the under 13 and under 14 tournaments, while the under 16 and 18, lean towards knockout games.

What is difference between this year and last year, and are there any plans of improving the tournament next year?

Last year, there were like 3-4 superstars participating in the tournament. This year, there were no superstars expect for Kevin Chahoud, but the overall level has improved. As of improving the tournament, its structure is already very good because it gives the young players many games to play and develop. But last year there were only 6 nations participating, this year 8, so we are hoping to get more nations participating next year.

How would you assess the tennis development in Lebanon?

The tennis officials in Lebanon are working hard to get more international tournaments. The country will be getting 1 Asian and 1 international tournament. Also, the Lebanese players have a huge potential, and the parents seem interested in helping their kids achieve great results, which is of extreme importance, because it is their decisions that affect the kids future the most. Moreover, the LTF is implementing the programs designed by the international federation, that aim to develop the level of young players.

Finally Amir, do you think that West Asian  players can make it to the top? 

Well, 5 players from West Asia were taken to the Asian division 2 championships, which is followed by the division 1 championship. All of them were selected for the 1st division, which was a great success for West Asian tennis, and later on 1 of them was selected to play in the ITF team, formed of 6 to 8 players, from all around Asia who were sent for a tour in Europe. The player who made it was from Syria. From Lebanon, Kevin Chahoud was selected to play in division 1 last year but he did not show up, so let’s hope he will show up and excel this year, so that maybe we can take him to Europe.