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Friday , October 30 2020

Sheikh Jaber Al-Abdullah Int’l Tennis Complex inaugurated, Rafael Nadal Academy launched

Photo shows Rafael Nadal in action in the Kuwait Champions Challenge. Nadal defeated fellow Spanish star David Ferrer in the inaugural Kuwait Champions Challenge, the first match to be played at the all-new world-class Sheikh Jaber Al-Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah International Tennis Complex

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 6, (KUNA): Sheikh Jaber Al-Abdullah Al-Jaber Al- Sabah International Tennis Complex located in Al-Zahra has been inaugurated and the Rafael Nadal Academy at the facility was launched. It is the largest tennis academy in the Middle East region launched under the patronage of Kuwait Tennis Federation Honorary President Sheikh Jaber Al-Abdullah Al- Jaber Al-Sabah.

Rafael Nadal returns a shot to David Ferrer (unseen) as guests watch from the VIP box.

This came during a ceremony of opening the complex and launching the academy in the presence of National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim, Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Mohammad Al-Jabri, President of Kuwait Olympic Committee Sheikh Fahad Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Sabah, Director General of Public Authority for Sport Humoud Flaiteh and his deputy Saqar Al-Mulla, Hawalli Governor Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al- Sabah and a number of Sheikhs, offi- cials and dignitaries. Meanwhile in the exhibition match Rafael Nadal, the world number one, defeated his fellow Spanish star David Ferrer 6-4, 6-3.

Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer with their trophies from the Kuwait Champions Challenge

Nadal is 19-time Grand Slam champion. Speaking in a statement on the sidelines of the ceremony, Al-Jabri said that the academy would contribute to improving and reviving grassroots tennis in Kuwait through training players and national teams under the supervision of well-experienced trainers.

Rafael Nadal signs merchandise for fans.

This will help make further sports achievements and disseminating the game on the local level, he added. The academy would be a key sport edifice as it is the only branch of the main facility in Spain, he noted. It will help attract a new generation to make Kuwait a hub for the game on the regional level, and raise awareness on this game, he pointed out. Meanwhile, President of Arab and Kuwait Tennis Federations Sheikh Ahmad Jaber Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah said, in his opening speech, that the academy would allure players and the lovers of the game in Kuwait.

Rafael Nadal poses with fans.

The edifice is fruit of partnership between the public and private sectors and in line with His Highness the Amir’s image on “Kuwait 2035 Vison” that will help place Kuwait on the global map of tennis.

David Ferrer, Mohammad Jassim Al-Marzouq, Chairman of Tamdeen Group, Rafael Nadal and Sheikh Jaber Al- Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, President of KTF, with some winners of the exhibition matches.

Furthermore, Mohammad Al-Marzouq, Chairman of Tamdeen Group, which launched the academy in cooperation with the main academy in Span, said the aim of this facility is to prepare a generation of players and develope their talents to become champions. He added cooperation with the academy in Spain would boost and develop the game in Kuwait and the Middle East region.

The Kuwaiti national junior team also played during the exhibition games . The complex includes 18 tennis courts, the inside main court accommodates 5000 spectators, while the outside one’s capacity is 1500. The complex also contains a hotel with 300 rooms, and special utilities for tennis as well as Kuwait Tennis Federation’s HQ.

The complex will host the first championship next April, as part of the third Gulf sports games. The facility, built on an area of 70,000 square meters, contains several utilities and services regarding the game. The courts are well equipped in line with world-class standards. The Kuwait Tennis Federation, in cooperation with the academy, is set to organize local tournaments to benefit national teams to take part in international events and raise Kuwait’s status in international arenas.

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