Riyadh – In a whirlwind of recent experiences, 19-year-old Saudi tennis sensation Yara Alhogbani has had the chance to witness live matches featuring tennis stars Ons Jabeur, Aryna Sabalenka, Novak Djokovic, and Carlos Alcaraz in Riyadh. Engaging with these legends, she even had the opportunity to hit and converse with them, describing the moments as “surreal.”
The Next Gen ATP Finals held in Jeddah marked a historic event, being the first sanctioned tennis tournament in Saudi Arabia. Anticipation is high as Riyadh is expected to host the prestigious WTA Finals soon, further solidifying Saudi Arabia’s presence on the global tennis stage.
Alhogbani, expressing her excitement, mentioned the potential life-changing impact of such events, especially for females, fostering a healthier lifestyle and encouraging sports participation. She highlighted the positive influence of top stars like Ons Jabeur and Novak Djokovic, who actively engaged in clinics, sharing knowledge and inspiring the next generation.
This weekend, Alhogbani, awarded a wildcard, will participate in the qualifying rounds of a WTA 500 tournament in Abu Dhabi, marking a significant step in her burgeoning career. Accompanied by her brother Ammar, who serves as her coach, the duo made history as Saudi Arabia’s first-ever mixed doubles team at the Asian Games.
Reflecting on her aspirations, Alhogbani aims not only to establish herself on the tour but also to contribute to building a thriving tennis community throughout Saudi Arabia. Inspired by Rafael Nadal’s commitment to opening an academy in the Kingdom, she envisions accessible and inclusive tennis communities, fostering collaboration and mutual growth.
As she competes at the highest level, Alhogbani’s journey is not just about personal success but about leaving a lasting impact on Saudi tennis, creating opportunities for aspiring players, and building a vibrant tennis culture across the country.