You may not realise it, but there is a striking similarity between Wimbledon and the Dubai Tennis Open. For decades, Wimbledon, which is regarded as the world's premier tennis event, has been dominated by foreign competitors due to a complete dearth in homegrown British talent. Of course, that has all changed recently with the rise to prominence of Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski, but the problem has struck the Dubai Tennis Open which is one of the biggest events on the ATP tour. No local player has come remotely close to achieving the standards necessary to play, but one rising star is striving to change all that. Omar Behroozian has so far served up a delightful tennis career which appears to be getting better through maturity, and the Dubai 16-year-old is regarded as one of the brightest Arab prospects. He is the UAE's number one national player and looks set for glory in a game that his father, Khalid, introduced him to at the age of six.
Behroozian captured the headlines back in May when he swept all before him to capture both the under-18 and the men's titles at the Marbella Resort championship to catapult him to the top of the UAE rankings. Surprisingly, the modest youngster doesn't consider that as his greatest triumph. That came the previous year when he was only 15. "I won the GCC youth title in Kuwait and I think that is my biggest win so far," said Behroozian, who will begin studies at the Etisalat College next month. The youngster's style of play is similar to his hero Andre Agassi, who dominates from the backline and patiently waits for winners. As for the future, Behroozian says the Dubai Tennis Open is high on his list of targets. "With it being held in Dubai, I hope that one day I will be good enough to receive a wild card entry, but there is a long way to go yet and a lot of improvements need to be made to my game." The summer has seen him practicing hard and included a three-week course at a top tennis clinic in the USA.