Former professional tennis star Fabrice Santoro, hosted a successful ‘tennis clinic’ for children aged between eight and 15 at the Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa over on Friday October 11, one month ahead of the Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge, which runs from 11-16 November 2013.
Up to 100 people took part in the three hour clinic. The children were divided into four different categories based on their age and level of ability. All four of the courts at the 5-star hotel were used as three other tennis former professionals also took part in the event; Hungary’s Kira Nagy – resident Head Coach at the hotel - who at the height of her career won 18 singles titles and 10 double titles, Ivica Ancic, a former Davis Cup player, who previously ranked as a top 10 junior and Selima Sfar, a Tunisian professional who ranked as high as No. 47 (2008) in the world. She has 11 singles tournaments to her name and 20 doubles tournaments in ITF.
After the training session the children were given the opportunity to ask Santoro questions followed by a photo session with the tennis star and each of the attendees.
Santoro said the atmosphere was very good, “It was a great event and I was delighted by the number of children who attended. I am very happy to promote tennis in Dubai at the Habtoor Grand Beach Resort and Spa.”
This is the second time he has hosted a tennis clinic at the hotel. He visited Dubai earlier in the year on invitation of Al Habtoor Group Chairman, Khalaf Al Habtoor, a keen tennis enthusiast and Founder of the Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge.
Mohammed Al Habtoor said, “It is lovely to see Fabrice Santoro back in Dubai and at one of our hotels. The clinic had a great turnout of children and parents. We look forward to welcoming Santoro back in the future.”
Santoro, famously called ‘The Magician’ for his unique style of play, had a long professional tennis career and holds several ATP records – including having the most appearances in a singles competition at Grand Slam events (70). He is the only male player to have appeared in Grand Slam singles competitions spanning over four decades (from the 1989 French Open to the 2010 Australian Open). Santoro earned six single titles in his career; including two Grand Slam doubles titles and one Grand Slam mixeddoubles title.