International Blind Tennis Tournament (IBTT) 2019 by Naqi Rizvi
I got a chance to compete in the World Championships of VI Tennis for a second time, this time around in Alicante Spain. I arrived on the 9th of June and returned back to the UK on the 16th. The seven glorious days I spent there involved chilling in the hotel and the internal water park, practising before the tournament and actually playing! the first two days were full of classification which left me with lots of free time as I am classified as a B1 for life.
My category of B1 males had 20 people from several different countries. The tournament overall had 87 players from 15 countries and six continents, and I was the third seed for the draws. My opponents at the group stage included Italy, Germany and Ireland. I luckily won all my matches by breaking serve and consequently avoiding a tie-break. I came out at the top of my group and then played in the quarterfinals against Argentina.
I won that too and played my semi-final against the worlds number 1 from Japan, which I lost 6-3. However, I gave my great opponent a tough time, and we hugged each other after the match was over. I then went on to play my 3rd and 4th play-off match against another German opponent which I won 6-3. That left me in third place and given that my group was the biggest (20 people), I am very proud of coming 3rd.
Moreover, most countries had managers and coaches who worked with them before and during the tournament, a luxury that I wasn’t afforded as I was the sole representative of my country. As there were eight courts beside each other, quiet was a luxury, but I gave it my best and really enjoyed the experience.
It was great to see so many players and such good tennis in many instances. The overall vibe was also great despite some issues, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself with the GB team that adopted me and also met many players/officials from other countries that I had met last year. I had a great time and would love to go year after year, becoming the world champion soon!
I must say a massive thank you to Metro Blind Sport, Highgate Tennis CLub, the Globe and Stanmore Jaffaries for helping me improve my game and also sponsorship which allowed me to go to Spain and also do well. I hope to make you all even prouder and hope to become an even better player who consistently does well! – article by Naqi Rizvi
Article by Naqi Rizvi
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