Former French tennis star Marion Bartoli is opening a tennis academy in Dubai with the hope of unearthing and training future Emirati champions.
36-year-old Bartoli, who won the 2013 Wimbledon championships and retired that same year, also made the move to Dubai back then.
“I absolutely love this place and will never think about living elsewhere in the world,” said Bartoli. “I recommend to everyone to come here and discover this beautiful city.
“I love Dubai because it is a very safe place and it has beautiful weather all year long. I just love to sit on the beach and think about my life and what I want to do,” she added.
She announced plans to open an academy during a visit to Dubai Sports Council, where she was received by Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, and Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary General of the Council.
Bartoli was accompanied with Beligian footballer husband Yahya Boumediene and Raja Rabia, the Consul General of France to Dubai and the Northern Emirates.
Hareb said Dubai Sports Council is always ready to get behind initiatives that can enrich the city’s growing sports sector.
Bartoli, defeated in the 2007 Wimbledon against Venus Williams, won the 2013 championship without dropping a set. She defeated Sabine Lisicki 6-1, 6-4 in the final.
Soon, she could pass on her expertise to tennis hopefuls in the region.
“My new project is about opening a tennis academy here in Dubai for local Emirati tennis player to become a champion and one day have the chance to play in Wimbledon and elsewhere, and, of course, for all other kids, especially for French kids who are here in Dubai,” she said.