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ALI SURPRISES ENEZI TO CLINCH TOP FLIGHT SHERATON OPEN TITLE
By Syed Parwaiz Imam

RIYADH, Dec. 21 – To the astonishment of the large Friday fans, Muhammed Hassan Ali surprised the Saudi international, Othman Enezi, winning in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 to clinch the Class-A single championship at the 1999 Sheraton Open tennis tournament, which concluded at the Sheraton court.
The new Egyptian champion, a former coach in Jeddah, now residing at Al Kharj city, achieved a double fete here. On the same night prior to his major showdown with Enezi, he set aside another local city hero, Saeed Shabib 6-4, 6-2 to walk away with the Class-B singles crown as well.
In the Class-B semifinals, earlier, Ali overcame Elfren Veradio by 6-0, 4-6, 6-0 and Shabib ousted Saleh Zahrani 6-3, 6-3. Despite this, the tale and thin looking Ali never looked tired and produce his best to overpower out of form Enezi in Class-A singles immediately after.
It was an all Filipino affair in the Over-45 singles final. Chris Casta played wisely to outwit veteran Mario Flores with 7-6, 7-5 score to become the champion here.
The Class-C championship went to a Filipino again. It was Robert Driquito who beat another local city popular player, Zahrani. The former won 6-4, 6-3 to claim the top prize.
In the Class-B doubles, Nelson Cale and Elfren Veradio down Freddie Santos and Joey Samia 6-2, 7-5 and were crowned the champions.
The Saudi pair of Abdulaziz Saloly and Omar Swaidan had an easy sailing over the Indian tandem, Syed Abrar Ali and Sheikh Rafee, winning 6-4, 6-2 to emerge the champions in Class-C doubles.
At a simple but impressive awarding ceremony, chief guests Thomas Boesch of Sheraton Riyadh hotel and Shakil Khan of Sodas Sports, the agent of Fila products in the Kingdom, gave away cash prizes, trophies and gifts certificates to the various deserving winners.
The popular gala was sponsored by Saudi Oger – Muhammed Hariri and Fila Sodas Sports – Munem Garawi. It was co-supported by Bassim Migdadi – Pepsi Cola and Ibrahim Kadi – Bahr Olum Printing press.
Flor B. Almoite was the tournament director for this month long event. He was assisted by Ed Dooma, Yusuf Torayef, Talal Rahal, Carlos D. Ollero, Khalil Hussain, Bien Balbin, Anoop Karun.
The umpires and linesmen who worked hard even at late night, braving the cold weather, were Danny Narsolis, Rene Leis, Edwin Ignacio, Willy Biay, Joepet Nicolas, Joe Canseco, Chris Casta, Khalid Bin Talib, Adam Soccor, James Magsanoc, Vic Almeyda, Raffy Manansala, Chito Ebreo, Fidel Cecogo, Rino Delos Reyes, Ramir Abinilla, Rene Sumido, Ponce Arobillo, Renato Pascual.
In his concluding speech, Almoite thanked the hotel general manager Michael Wegner for the full cooperation in holding such a big tourney. He also aired words of appreciation for the sponsors, co-sponsors, all the different committees members, linesmen and judges for sharing their personal and technical services to make this championship end successfully.