An optimistic future for Arab Tennis
Many of the tennis players on the men's tour — veterans such as Federer aside — are barely out of short trousers themselves. So it's no surprise that they're always keen to hang out with Dubai's youngsters and show them a thing or two about the sport.
Just last week, we've seen the Dubai Duty Free Kids Day on Monday, with 1,000 children from 20 schools around Dubai and the UAE participating in a clinic at the Aviation Club held by Clark Francis Tennis. They were joined by the fourth seeded doubles pairing of Lukas Dlouhy of the Czech Republic and Paul Hanley of Australia, who in addition to sharing their knowledge, posed for photographs and signed autographs.
The following day it was the turn of 30 of the UAE's budding tennis stars to get tips from the top at the Tennis Emirates day with the star doubles pairing of Rohan Bopanna of India and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan giving a tutorial.
The young players got tips on their serves and backhand strokes (before being given tickets to actually watch the pros in action on centre court) while Bopanna and Qureshi were impressed with the talent on display.
Thursday saw No 8 seed Ernests Gulbis literally heading back to school with a visit to Cambridge International School in Garhoud, where he presented 12-year-old student Meirbek Zeinulla with four tickets to the ATP men's final for successfully completing the Dubai Duty Free "Trivia Terms" School Competition.
By Natalie Long