OMAN’S Fatma Al Nabhani, the flag-bearer of women’s game in the Middle East, expressed hope that more of her ilk would take up the sport.
Still languishing in the 400’s in the WTA rankings, Fatma, a former ITF star believes players like her should get more opportunities and thanked the Qatar Tennis Federation (QTF) for giving her a wild-card entry at the Qatar Total Open.
“Having played in ITF tournaments for years, I’ve reached that stage of my career where I need more international exposure. Playing in tournaments like the Qatar Total Open will help me rub shoulders with some of the big names. I thank the QTF for giving me an opportunity to play here,” said Fatma.
Fatma may be yet to make her mark on the WTA Tour as most of it is limited to wild-card appearances in Doha and neighbouring Dubai. But the 25-year-old, who seeks advice from her mother on the court, hoped things would have been different had more players from the region taken up the sport.
“It’s difficult when you’ve no one to look up to. You’ve to practise alone and travel abroad for camps or training. I wish I had a role model from the Middle East playing the sport. Things would’ve been much better not only for me, but also aspiring youngsters,” rued Fatma.