Hamad al Janahi has urged his siblings to join the famed Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy.
Hamad al Janahi has urged his siblings to join the famed Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy.

Janahi has Florida in his sights



Hamad al Janahi is still a teenager but with Davis Cup games under his belt, and with the experience of being coached in Europe, he is well placed to explain why the country's brightest young prospects have to leave the country in order to stand a chance of turning professional.

And it is in America, where he hopes to secure a four-year scholarship at the University of South Florida, in Tampa, that he has pinned his hopes of gaining the skills to make it happen. Hamad, 19, who has made four appearances for the UAE Davis Cup team, says he should have moved at the age of 13 but he was unaware that his opportunities would be so limited in Dubai. "I keep staying here and my level keeps going down and all the hard work I put in is for nothing," he said.

"I went to Spain in the summer and I improved a lot, and then I came back and I didn't improve, I just kept my level. I want to keep improving." He believes Dubai is a good place to start but when players reach their teens, they need to move on. "The thing is, our population is so low and it is hard to find people who want to play tennis," he said. "Tennis is not a game that everyone can play. It is a game that you have to pay a lot for it, you have to work so hard and you can't keep anything on your mind and there is no social life."

But things are changing, says Eric Gottschalk, managing director of MediaPro, which manages the UAE Tennis Association. From next month a new tennis structure will come into effect. Five circuits will be established from school age to veterans and each one must stage a minimum number of tournaments to meet the Association's criteria. Gottschalk also says a full-time national team coach will be appointed later this year.

In al Janahi's adult age group, 15 tournaments must be held to give local players a chance to compete. "In the past the support structure was not as good as it could be," he said. "There should be more competitions, which would attract players from the GCC region to come and play." On average, Gottschalk says, junior tennis players should play between 80 and 100 matches a season. This has not been happening in the Emirates.

Despite the changes, al Janahi is urging his father to send his sister Fatima, 14, a GCC junior champion and his brother Fahd, 11, to a tennis academy abroad. He is recommending his younger siblings move to Florida to the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, which has been around for over three decades and developed players of the calibre of Maria Sharapova and Andre Agassi. "Next year they must leave if they want to improve," he said. "I have experience in this because I would have been much better than I am if I didn't stay here. If I left when I was 13, I would have been better."

Al Janahi also says the weather conditions make it very difficult to train at a reasonable time of the day. "You can't play in the mornings and you can only play after 7pm, when the day is already finished," he said. "You can't be playing and train from 7pm to midnight, it doesn't work like that. Who is going to play late at night?" Al Janahi's move to the American college circuit is a smart move and a great opportunity, says Gottschalk, who also played in the US during his college years.

"It is the closest to professional tennis, not only are you taking care of your education but at the same time you are really training like a professional," Gottschalk said. "For Hamad this is fantastic opportunity and I hope he becomes a better tennis player because he will still be on the national team here and he will support them very much." Al Janahi's decision to finally move came after watching his friends on the junior international circuit improve their game after moving to America.

He applied to several American universities and was accepted at the Florida University where he will play under head coach Don Barr. For the first semester, he will practice with the 16-man squad and will then wait to find out if he has been selected as one of the final eight players to compete for the university in the league. If he does, it means he will have a four-year scholarship to play and study, and if not, he says there are plenty of other options across the US.

"Every two weeks you play a tournament in other parts of America," he said. "It will be nice because you're part of a professional team with coaches and trainers. That's what you want as a player, to be part of a team." While he is focused on making it in the college league he hasn't forgotten about his national duties. He will be back to make his fifth appearance during next year's Davis Cup tournament.

sports@thenational.ae

Abu Dhabi racecard

5pm: Maiden (Purebred Arabians); Dh80,000; 1,400m.
5.30pm: Maiden (PA); Dh80,00; 1,400m.
6pm: Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan National Day Cup (PA); Group 3; Dh500,000; 1,600m.
6.30pm: Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan National Day Cup (Thoroughbred); Listed; Dh380,000; 1,600m
7pm: Wathba Stallions Cup for Private Owners Handicap (PA); Dh70,000; 1,400m.
7.30pm: Handicap (PA); Dh80,000; 1,600m

Company profile

Name: Tabby
Founded: August 2019; platform went live in February 2020
Founder/CEO: Hosam Arab, co-founder: Daniil Barkalov
Based: Dubai, UAE
Sector: Payments
Size: 40-50 employees
Stage: Series A
Investors: Arbor Ventures, Mubadala Capital, Wamda Capital, STV, Raed Ventures, Global Founders Capital, JIMCO, Global Ventures, Venture Souq, Outliers VC, MSA Capital, HOF and AB Accelerator.

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE.

Part three: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

The specs: Lamborghini Aventador SVJ

Price, base: Dh1,731,672

Engine: 6.5-litre V12

Gearbox: Seven-speed automatic

Power: 770hp @ 8,500rpm

Torque: 720Nm @ 6,750rpm

Fuel economy: 19.6L / 100km

Company profile

Company name: amana
Started: 2010
Founders: Karim Farra and Ziad Aboujeb
Based: UAE
Regulator: DFSA
Sector: Financial services
Current number of staff: 85
Investment stage: Self-funded

Major matches on Manic Monday

Andy Murray (GBR) v Benoit Paire (FRA)

Grigor Dimitrov (BGR) v Roger Federer (SUI)

Rafael Nadal (ESP) v Gilles Muller (LUX)

Adrian Mannarino (FRA) Novak Djokovic (SRB)

Dubai works towards better air quality by 2021

Dubai is on a mission to record good air quality for 90 per cent of the year – up from 86 per cent annually today – by 2021.

The municipality plans to have seven mobile air-monitoring stations by 2020 to capture more accurate data in hourly and daily trends of pollution.

These will be on the Palm Jumeirah, Al Qusais, Muhaisnah, Rashidiyah, Al Wasl, Al Quoz and Dubai Investment Park.

“It will allow real-time responding for emergency cases,” said Khaldoon Al Daraji, first environment safety officer at the municipality.

“We’re in a good position except for the cases that are out of our hands, such as sandstorms.

“Sandstorms are our main concern because the UAE is just a receiver.

“The hotspots are Iran, Saudi Arabia and southern Iraq, but we’re working hard with the region to reduce the cycle of sandstorm generation.”

Mr Al Daraji said monitoring as it stood covered 47 per cent of Dubai.

There are 12 fixed stations in the emirate, but Dubai also receives information from monitors belonging to other entities.

“There are 25 stations in total,” Mr Al Daraji said.

“We added new technology and equipment used for the first time for the detection of heavy metals.

“A hundred parameters can be detected but we want to expand it to make sure that the data captured can allow a baseline study in some areas to ensure they are well positioned.”

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

THE SPECS

Engine: 1.5-litre

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Power: 110 horsepower

Torque: 147Nm

Price: From Dh59,700

On sale: now

Kill Bill Volume 1

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Uma Thurman, David Carradine and Michael Madsen
Rating: 4.5/5

SPEC SHEET: APPLE M3 MACBOOK AIR (13")

Processor: Apple M3, 8-core CPU, up to 10-core CPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Display: 13.6-inch Liquid Retina, 2560 x 1664, 224ppi, 500 nits, True Tone, wide colour

Memory: 8/16/24GB

Storage: 256/512GB / 1/2TB

I/O: Thunderbolt 3/USB-4 (2), 3.5mm audio, Touch ID

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3

Battery: 52.6Wh lithium-polymer, up to 18 hours, MagSafe charging

Camera: 1080p FaceTime HD

Video: Support for Apple ProRes, HDR with Dolby Vision, HDR10

Audio: 4-speaker system, wide stereo, support for Dolby Atmos, Spatial Audio and dynamic head tracking (with AirPods)

Colours: Midnight, silver, space grey, starlight

In the box: MacBook Air, 30W/35W dual-port/70w power adapter, USB-C-to-MagSafe cable, 2 Apple stickers

Price: From Dh4,599

THE BIO:

Favourite holiday destination: Thailand. I go every year and I’m obsessed with the fitness camps there.

Favourite book: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. It’s an amazing story about barefoot running.

Favourite film: A League of their Own. I used to love watching it in my granny’s house when I was seven.

Personal motto: Believe it and you can achieve it.

THE APPRENTICE

Director: Ali Abbasi

Starring: Sebastian Stan, Maria Bakalova, Jeremy Strong

Rating: 3/5

Five expert hiking tips
  • Always check the weather forecast before setting off
  • Make sure you have plenty of water
  • Set off early to avoid sudden weather changes in the afternoon
  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear
  • Take your litter home with you
Chris Jordan on Sanchit

Chris Jordan insists Sanchit Sharma will make an impact on the ILT20, despite him starting the campaign on Gulf Giants' bench.
The young UAE seamer was an instant success for the side last season, and remained part of the XI as they claimed the title.
He has yet to feature this term as the Giants have preferred Aayan Khan and Usman Khan as their two UAE players so far.
However, England quick Jordan is sure his young colleague will have a role to play at some point.
"Me and Sanchit have a great relationship from last season," Jordan said.
"Whenever I am working with more inexperienced guys, I take pleasure in sharing as much as possible.
"I know what it was like when I was younger and learning off senior players.
"Last season Sanchit kick-started our season in Abu Dhabi with a brilliant man-of-the-match performance.
"Coming into this one, I have seen a lot of improvement. The focus he is showing will only stand him in good stead."

Match info

Costa Rica 0

Serbia 1
Kolarov (56')

Real Madrid 1
Ronaldo (87')

Athletic Bilbao 1
Williams (14')

SPECS

Engine: 1.5-litre 4-cylinder
Power: 101hp
Torque: 135Nm
Transmission: Six-speed auto
Price: From Dh79,900
On sale: Now

Three ways to boost your credit score

Marwan Lutfi says the core fundamentals that drive better payment behaviour and can improve your credit score are:

1. Make sure you make your payments on time;

2. Limit the number of products you borrow on: the more loans and credit cards you have, the more it will affect your credit score;

3. Don't max out all your debts: how much you maximise those credit facilities will have an impact. If you have five credit cards and utilise 90 per cent of that credit, it will negatively affect your score.

Last 10 winners of African Footballer of the Year

2006: Didier Drogba (Chelsea and Ivory Coast)
2007: Frederic Kanoute (Sevilla and Mali)
2008: Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal and Togo)
2009: Didier Drogba (Chelsea and Ivory Coast)
2010: Samuel Eto’o (Inter Milan and Cameroon)
2011: Yaya Toure (Manchester City and Ivory Coast)
2012: Yaya Toure (Manchester City and Ivory Coast)
2013: Yaya Toure (Manchester City and Ivory Coast)
2014: Yaya Toure (Manchester City and Ivory Coast)
2015: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund and Gabon)
2016: Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City and Algeria)

Sweet Tooth

Creator: Jim Mickle
Starring: Christian Convery, Nonso Anozie, Adeel Akhtar, Stefania LaVie Owen
Rating: 2.5/5

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre six-cylinder MHEV

Power: 360bhp

Torque: 500Nm

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Price: from Dh282,870

On sale: now


Latest
Most Read
Top Videos