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The Boca Raton mother-son duo of Ayesha and Mikaeel Alibaig have been around enough junior tennis tournaments so they figured they should be behind the tournament desk as well.
They started running Mikatensity Jr Cup tournaments at the start of 2021 and, to date, have hosted seven tournaments. Their next (Level 6) tournament will be Oct. 2-3 at the Indian Spring Country Club in Boynton Beach and it will consist of Boys and Girls 12s and 14s.
“After COVID, there were a lot less intermediate tournaments,” said Mikaeel, 11, a sixth-grader, who practices five days a week and plays tournaments on the weekend. “In Florida, there is a lot of entry-level and intermediate players and I saw that there were a lot fewer intermediate tournaments because fewer tournaments were there, and some tournament directors that were doing tournaments before COVID stooped.
“I thought to myself, ‘Hey, maybe I can start doing tournaments,’” he said. “I told my parents and they thought that was a cool idea too. We researched and then we started doing tournaments.”
Ayesha does most of the directing onsite and Mikaeel, who is ranked 10th in the Boys 12s in Florida, does the tournament design and will help referees with drinks. He also came up with the name.
“He eats and sleeps tennis,” Ayesha said. “When he is not on the court playing or training, he is watching or reading about tennis.
“As a family, we enjoy not just watching our son play tennis, but we enjoy watching and playing tennis in general,” she said. “Through tennis tournaments, we have met many boys and girls, parents and coaches who play tennis. Tennis is a community, particularly in South Florida. Mikaeel actually came up with the idea to host tennis tournaments.”
“My goal is to have 20 tournaments for me and my mom to run in 2022,” Mikaeel said. “I would also like to have some international tournaments in Asia. In some parts of Asia, there are a lot fewer tournaments for 12 and under. I am from Pakistan and I want to have more tennis in countries like Pakistan.
“The coolest thing is probably bonding with my mom and since I am usually the one playing in the tournaments, this gives me the opposite view of how the tournaments are run by the directors,” he said. “It is also very cool just watching very interesting and entertaining matches and that is really fun.”