Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

February 18- March 2, 2024
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 18- March 2, 2024
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 21, 2024

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships serves up smiles and skills for children of determination

WTA doubles pairing Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ellen Perez, semi-finalists at Roland Garros last year, embraced the chance to take part in a very special clinic on Wednesday

Dubai, UAE—February 21, 2024: A select group of more than 50 children of determination from local schools and non-profit organisations were hosted on the side-courts at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Wednesday where they shared a special morning of skills, drills, and super-wide smiles with a pair of WTA Tour doubles specialists and coaches from the Clark Francis Tennis Academy.

Doubles partners Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ellen Perez, the former of whom has reached three Grand Slam finals and won the 2018 Wimbledon title in Mixed Doubles, teamed up with a host of coaches from the UAE-based CF Academy to help the children focus on improving their motor skills, levels of motivation, and most importantly sense of belonging.

Nicole Melichar-Martinez

The clinic integrated various aspects of the racquet sport, with the goal of providing the children with a fun and memorable experience that fostered a sense of inclusion within Dubai’s prestigious two-week tennis showpiece. From local organisations such as Heroes of Hope, the Al Noor Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities, Manzil Centre, the Dubai Autism Centre, and Touch Talent, the children embraced the opportunity.

Melichar-Martinez and Perez meanwhile, seeded third this week, could not resist joining the morning session, despite having already participated in a Kids’ Day event on Monday.

“I think everyone deserves the chance to play sport, and tennis, especially, is such a great sport,” said Australian Perez, who reached the French Open doubles semi-finals last year alongside Melichar-Martinez. “The kids had so much fun and just seeing the smiles on their faces and having a chance to get involved with the sport continues to remind me how inclusive this sport is!”

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