(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has upgraded Oman's ITF junior tennis tournament to Grade 4 from Grade 5 as the Oman Tennis Association (OTA) gears up to host the third annual edition of the event starting this month-end. The 2013 edition of the U18 age-group event will be played at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex from January 26-February 9. According to OTA officials, 80-100 junior players in the boys' and girls' categories from 38 countries are expected to take part in the competition. Karim Sadallah, the OTA's technical director, told Muscat Daily, ''Oman has been promoted to Grade 4 as we received good reviews for successfully hosting the event in the past two years.''Sadallah said the tournament will be played in two phases. The first phase, from January 26-February 2, will be a Grade 4 event, while the second phase, from February 4-9, will be a Grade 5 event. Oman's Ahmed al Balushi and Younis al Rawahi will compete in the boys' event, while Oman's challenge in the girls' section will be led by Samar al Bakri and Sarah al Balushi. The OTA's technical director said, ''The draw size is 32.The championship will feature four categories - boys' singles and doubles, and girls' singles and doubles.''_________WHAT GRADE 4 MEANSPromotion to Grade 4 for the 2013 edition of the ITF junior event means the players will now earn more points. Higher grade tournaments fetch more points, which helps the players in the long run as the entry into the main draw of each junior tournament is based on the players' ITF rankings and points. Grade 5 is at the bottom of the ITF points scale. In all, there are a total of nine grades - A, B1, B2, B3 and 1 to 5.