February 23, 2016 – DUBAI, UAE: Some of the best young male tennis players from across the UAE were welcomed by top ATP doubles stars, John Peers and Henri Kontinen at the annual Tennis Emirates Coaching Clinic sponsored by Head, at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships this morning.
The clinic is an opportunity for young tennis players to gain valuable lessons and encouragement and improve their skill-set. Talking about the session, Peers said: “It’s always good to give back to the kids, especially in Dubai because we only have the chance to come here once a year and it’s great to see the young players getting involved and enjoying the game. It’s great to get back to Dubai and see some sunshine after spending a couple of weeks in Europe. Dubai is beautiful, the sun is out, you’re struggling to see a cloud in the sky and it’s good fun to be here. I love the conditions because I think tennis is a sport which is meant to be played outdoors and in summer time so it’s nice to get the advantages of the perfect weather here and enjoy it.”
Brisbane International 2016 Doubles Champions, Kontinen said: “Hopefully we saw some future stars in the making today. The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is a great event, the organisers take good care of the players, the site is beautiful, we have everything we need and we’re actually ready to get going.”
Jean-Francois Danicon, co-owner of Tennis Emirates said: “The kids enjoyed the event and we had two top doubles players at the net so the kids had to react a little bit faster. I think that young talents should learn from the attitude of the professional players. John Peers and Henri Kontinen were having fun but they were also focused and very professional. These guys are role models and a lot of the kids want to be like them but they have a lot of work to do to reach this level. In tennis you learn skills that you can also apply outside of the court, things like discipline, patience and the mentality to just never give up.”
Excited by today’s activities, Alek Naiem, aged 15 from American School of Dubai said: “It was really exciting to be able to play with professionals. Tennis is one of my biggest passions and I wanted to display my skill level and impress our guests. I feel incredibly inspired right now and I would actually like to stay on court after the event and play as much as possible.”
Fahad Abbas, aged 9 from Al Mawakeb School made some great memories today: “It was my first experience on court with professional players and even though they are very good I managed to send some pretty strong shots over the net. I feel really tired now but I will remember this day for a long time.”
Play in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships continues until 27th February and includes world number one and reigning Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open champion Novak Djokovic and 2015 French Open winner Stan Wawrinka among those bidding for one of the most coveted trophies in the sport.
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and organised 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.