Dubai: Former Tunisian Davis Cup player Issam Jellali is hopeful that his recent coaching course will go a long way in fulfilling his long-standing dream of producing at least one top tennis player from this region.
Jellaili, which completed a ‘A’ level coaching course with the Global Professional Tennis Coach Association (GPCTA), which organises courses certified by the ATP with the aim of improving the performance of tennis coaches and enables them to help aspiring pro players. Many of the teaching faculty is coaches of top tennis players and by sharing their knowledge with the less experienced coaches helps both, tennis and improve the players.
Jellali was one of the few coaches passing the Level A course that was held on the sidelines of the 2017 Next Generation ATP Finals held in Milan, Italy in the first half of November.
“This course enables me to coach even the top-10 players in the world. But my focus is to find at least one player from this region who can go and compete against the best at the international level,” Jellali told Gulf News on his return from Milan.
“For me, it is a dream to have a young player progress through the ranks and advance to the top of the men’s game in the world,” he added.
A working partner with the Dubai-based Future Pro Tennis Academy operating from Al Barsha and Jumeirah, Jellali is awaiting the arrival of at least two top players next month. Tunisian Ons Jabeur, who is currently ranked 83 on the WTA, will be joined by Bosnia-Herzegovina player Damira Muminovic to spend their off-season preparations in Dubai in December. In addition, the Arab world’s top men’s tennis player Malek Jazira is a regular visitor to Dubai and spends most of his time training with his countryman.
“I’ve assimilated a new set of skills and I need to keep myself open and continue the learning process. It was a great exposure for me to listen to some of the great coaches like Rafael Nadal’s coach Toni and Jose Perlas during the course in Milan. Each of them has their own philosophy and it is indeed such an honour to learn from these masters of the sport,” Jellali said.
The 35-year-old Tunisian was grateful to the support lent by the board of directors of Tennis Emirates, Mohammad Al Nuaimi, in particular. “Being a youngster and having played tennis during his younger days, Mohammad knows what is needed to develop this sport in the UAE. The ultimate goal will be to have these top players under my care while ensuring we have some talented youngsters come through and reach the top of tennis,” Jellali added.