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MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 21/08/2014
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(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Buoyed by the runner-up finish at the US10000 ITF women's tennis tournament in Bangalore India recently Oman's Fatma al Nabhani believes she can come up with a good show at the 17th Asian Games to be held in Incheon South Korea from September 19-October 4.

Speaking to Muscat Daily on Sunday Fatma said 'I am very pleased with my performance in India. Though it was a US10000 event the competition was tough.' Looking ahead to her second participation in the Asian Games Fatma said 'I am confident of a good performance though the level at the Asian Games is quite high.'


During her maiden participation at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou China Fatma had reached the second round before losing 1-6 2-6 to higher-ranked Shuai Peng of China. The Omani had breezed past Kyrgyzstan's Zhamilia Duisheeva 6-0 6-1 in the opening round.

Currently ranked 415th in the world Fatma said 'If I get a good draw then I can target a medal round in Incheon. I know that I have to be at my best at such events to progress.' As part of her build-up to the Asian Games the Oman Tennis Association (OTA) is sending Fatma on a 21-day preparatory camp to an academy in Miami US.

Accompanied by her mother Huda al Nabhani Fatma will depart on August 23 for the Club Med Academies where she will be trained by a team of professional coaches led by its directors Gabe Jaramillo and Scott Del Mastro. Jaramillo is a former tennis director at the renowned Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy.

Fatma will undergo practice sessions under professional coaches Stan Long Gino Tapiand Jeremy Doualot during the three-week trip. 'It will be good preparation [for the Asian Games] as I haven't had a lot of tournaments to play over the past couple of months' the 23 year old Omani player said. 'During the holy month of Ramadan I did not play in any tournament.

The Bangalore event was my first competitive event in two months.' Fatma claimed she went quite close to winning the title match in Bangalore against Chinese Taipei's Ching-Wen Hsu but successive three-set matches starting from the second round had already left her exhausted. The Omani player lost the final 4-6 4-6. Seconds e e d e d Fatma struggled in her second-round match against India's Rutuja Bhosale.

Fatma was on the verge of elimination in the second set when she was down 2-5 after losing the first. But the Omani rallied to go level and take the contest to the decider before winning the match 6-7 7-6 7-5 in three and a half hours.

Fatma followed it up with another come-from-behind win in the quarterfinals against Nidhi Chilumula 3-6 6-4 6-0 to reach the semifinals where she overcame her doubles partner the fourth-seeded Rishika Sunkara 6-3 5-7 6-2. 'After the second round I had blisters on my right hand impeding my play' Fatma said.

'I was forced to play with a plaster on my palm after that. In the final I was not able to give my best against Ching-Wen and lost. 'It was not just the singles I was playing the doubles too where we reached the semifinals. Playing continuously did not allow my blisters to heal so I could not give my best in the title clash. But I am now looking ahead to the Asian Games.'

Coach-hunt continues
Fatma said she is yet to finalise on a full-time coach even as the OTA has been assuring it would resolve her coach-hunt soon. 'I do not have a full-time coach yet I hope that the issue will be sorted out soon' she said.

Fatma has been without a full-time coach since August last year. The OTA however had arranged for a sparring partner for her in Ruel Leopardas. Fatma parted ways with her full-time coach Genis Pladivall of Spain in July last year.


Muscat Daily

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