Returning for its 13th edition, the UAE’s SMK Tennis Academy tournament, under the patronage of HH Sheikha Mariam Bint Mohammed Bin Zayed, will be held from 22nd February until 8th March 2023, at the palace of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalid Al Nahyan.
SMK is an exclusive private members training school that is dedicated to highlighting women’s role in tennis, and was founded by Sheikha Shaikha bint Mohammed bin Khalid Al Nahyan in 2009. Based in Abu Dhabi, she founded the academy out of her love of tennis and the necessity to create a private space and location for Emirati women to practice and train in a sport they love. During the 15-day tournament, 33 matches will see matches between a total of 30 Emirati tennis players, including the likes of Hadeel Al Qadi, Shaikha Al Zaabi, Mahra Al Mulla, Ayesha Al Fahim, and Maha Bin Hendi.
Sheikha Shaikha bint Mohammed bin Khalid Al Nahyan said in a released statement, “SMK Tennis Academy proudly strives to advance tennis in the United Arab Emirates through progressive training programs specially tailored for female Emirati players by providing an exclusive platform to practice and train comfortably and to commemorate their growth with an annual tournament. This unique event marks a chance for tennis enthusiasts of all levels – from novice to the experienced – to come together and relish their passion for the sport.”
Every year, the event draws in over 800 tennis fans. Previous editions of the tennis tournament have been won by Maha Bin Hendi in 2022, Hadeel Al Qadi in 2020, Yasmin Khasim Al Remeithi in 2018, and Hania Kuleib in 2017 and 2019 in the singles category.
Double were won by Hania Kuleib and Hadeel Al Qadi in 2017, 2019 and 2020; Yasmin Khasim Al Remeithi and Sheikha Hamda Khalifa Al Nahyan in 2018; and Hadeel Al Qadi with Khuloud Al Mehairbi in 2022.
The tournament will not only host tennis matches, but guests can also participate in activities such as fitness classes, private dinners, beauty workshops, sports and lifestyle talks, and privileged networking opportunities.