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4 Women Inspiring the Next Generation of Female Tennis Players in The Middle East

Tennis is gaining popularity as a women’s sport in the Arab world with the help of four trailblazing pros. Long neglected in the region - the sport is now gaining ground with tournaments being organised in Qatar, the UAE and Morocco - raising its profile and investment in local players. A new host of female competitors are now fighting for the recognition and funding that will push them out of the shadows and catapult them into the Top 100.

Click through to see the top four female tennis player in the Middle East.

1 of 4

Ons Jabeur, Tunisia
Ons Jabeur first made a name for herself at the Roland Garros girls’ singles championship in 2011, where she became the first North African women to win a Grand Slam. After a series of tournaments she reaffirmed her skill in this years French Open, when she defeated No. 6 seed Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 6-3. The unexpected victory over a top-10 player put a spotlight on Tunisian tennis and on the rise of Arab female players.

2 of 4

Cagla Buyukakcay, Turkey
Cagla Buyukakcay became the first Turkish woman to win a Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) title at the Istanbul cup in 2016 - reaching her best singles ranking of No. 67. She was also the first Turkish tennis player to represent the country during the 2016 Rio Olympics. During her career so far, Buyukakcay has won eight singles and fifteen doubles on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) tour.

3 of 4

Fatma al-Nabhani, Oman
Fatma al-Nabhani fell in love with tennis while practicing with her brothers and is coached by her mother, Hadia Mohammed. She has been outspoken about her position as one of the only professional Muslim female players in the Gulf and the challenges she has faced. Al-Nabhani has won four singles titles and four doubles titles on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) tour and competed for Oman in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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Ipek Soylu, Turkey
Ipek Soylu is currently the number two Turkish player in the world. She is best known for her doubles titles and won the doubles junior Grand Slam at the US Open in 2014. Soylu has won three doubles on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) tour as well as eight singles and eleven doubles on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) tour.

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