It all started with the Roland-Garros Grand Slam tournament in 2005. I was so riveted by the game that I started researching how I could try it out. I wasn’t able to find a coach in Abu Dhabi at the time, so my best friend and I began practising on our own based on what we learnt from the matches that we watched on television.
Over the years, we saw an increased interest in tennis among women in the capital, and we formed a small group of Emirati players who participated in the Abu Dhabi Tennis League. I’m grateful for the efforts of Sheikha Shaikha bint Mohammed bin Khalid Al Nahyan, who launched SMK Tennis in 2009, bringing us together for a spectacular annual tournament that puts our skills to the test. My Doubles partner, Shaikha Ahmed Alzaabi, and I were runners-up in the final match at the event last year.
I look forward to seeing more private and indoor courts for women open across the UAE, so that we can play with ease during the summer months. If you’re aspiring to become a tennis player, watch the game to learn the ropes and keep practising. You’ll surely ace it.
Photography by Aasiya Jagadeesh
This article was originally published in Villa 88’s Spring 2023 edition. Subscribe here.