Abu Dhabi: The former World No. 1 doubles player Sania Mirza hopes to contribute to the UAE tennis community through the opening of several tennis academies there.
Ms. Mirza, who is currently playing in the inaugural World Tennis League at the Coca-Cola Arena, has created five academies with three more on the way.
The Sania Mirza Tennis Academy at Jumeirah Lake Towers, Jumeirah Park, and Umm Hurair 2 in Oud Metha is the first of them.
“I’ve been living in the city for close to 13 years and it’s been my home away from home,” remarked the 36-year-old mother of one.
“I love it here and the plan always was to start a tennis academy to offer professional classes for youngsters. I’m really excited to start this new venture and we look forward to having a lot more tennis players come out of this region,” Ms. Mirza added.
The World Tennis League, a distinctive team competition with the aim of expanding and revolutionising tennis, received high appreciation from the Indian trailblazer as well. The competition features teams of both men’s and women’s players who compete in short two-set matches, in both singles and doubles, to earn points that will determine the eventual winner.
Similar in some ways to the World Team Tennis (WTT), also a mixed-gender professional tennis league in the United States, and the Davis Cup and Fed Cup events, the WTL adds an element of entertainment with major music concerts at the end of each day’s play.
“We didn’t really know each other well in our team before the tournament but were so excited that were spending Christmas together and we have all become friends. So it’s really cool,” Ms. Mirza cited.
In the women’s doubles at the Australian Open, Ms. Mirza will team up with Russia’s Ms. Anna Danilina after making it all the way to the mixed-doubles semifinals at Wimbledon this year with Ms. Mate Pavic of Croatia.