Over 200 aspiring young tennis players took to the courts at the Dubai Duty Free Stadium this morning for the Tennis Emirates – Head Coaching Clinic. The girls, from local schools, were delighted to participate in the skills clinic and to meet world ranked number 3 player Agnieszka Radwanska.
Radwanska, the number 2 seed for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, gave the children some tennis tips and encouragement. Practicing a number of drills, the children also received professional tips from UAE national head coach, Jorge Martin.
Excited to be playing in Dubai, Radwanska was happy to share some of her winning techniques with the young players. The children are members of the UAE Junior Development Program, which provides tennis lessons as part of the physical education program in schools. Under the guidance of Martin, these dedicated sessions help build the children’s confidence with the sport while developing the local tennis talent in the region.
“I think today was a great success with these kids and the programs that Tennis Emirates are running with these schools are paying us back. The new board members of Tennis Emirates are doing a good job developing programs trying to find new tennis talent in the UAE,” said Martin.
Reham Hussin Hanafy, a teacher at Andalus School Sharjah commented, “This project has been with our school for 2 years for kids between 9 and 10, and of course they enjoy this day especially and look forward to continuing playing after as well.” One of the students, Rawan, age 9 commented, “It’s a very nice and a very good sport for children. We play tennis in school once a week and wish I could play more often.”
Mr. Abdulrahman Falaknaz, Vice-President of Tennis Emirates commented, “We are very pleased at the progress we are making with this program, when we have so many local children playing tennis regularly it makes us hope for a better future. We’re just delighted to have more UAE children introduced to the game of tennis.”
The Tennis Emirates Days are a regular feature of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, and another clinic will be held for boys on Tuesday 25 February during the ATP week. Play in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships began on 17 February with the WTA event, which concludes on 22nd February and features seven of the world’s top 10, including world number one Serena Williams, defending champion Petra Kvitova, former winners Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska, 2011 US Open winner Samantha Stosur and Serbian former world number ones Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic.
Play then continues between 24th February and 1st March with the action-packed ATP tournament that includes defending champion Novak Djokovic, five-time winner Roger Federer, recent Australian Open semi-finalist and last week’s Rotterdam winner Tomas Berdych, former US Open winner and recent Sydney champion Juan Martin Del Potro, and charismatic Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and operated by Dubai Duty Free, and held under the patronage of H H Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
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