By: Ashok Purohit

Oman’s top player Fatma al Nabhani recorded one of the biggest wins of her career when she paired up with Mona Barthel of Germany to advance to the second round of the Dubai Tennis Championships in UAE on Sunday.

The Omani-German duo defeated the Ukrainian pair of Yulia Beygelzimer and Kateryna Kozlova in a hard-fought first-round match, winning 6-2, 5-7, 10-6 in a contest that lasted nearly one and a half hours.

It was a maiden doubles victory for Fatma in a premier WTA tournament and the Omani, ranked 358 in the doubles circuit, was thrilled with the win.

Speaking to Muscat Daily from Dubai, Fatma said, “It is a dream victory for me as it is the first time that I have won a first-round match in the main event of a premier tournament.”

She added, “It is a historic win as I have now become the first woman from the GCC to have won a first-round tie in a top-class WTA event.

“I recently got together with Mona, who is in the WTA’s singles top 40. We both train in the same academy in Frankfurt, Germany. We got to know each other better at Schutller Waske Tennis University. I hope we can continue achieving good results together.”

Fatma’s singles ranking has dropped since the end of 2014 when she finished at 467. She is currently placed 552, while her doubles ranking at the end of 2014 was 323.

“After a disappointing 2014, I wanted to make a good start, so I went to the academy for one month from January 4-February 4. The results are encouraging after today’s win. It is a new start for me,” she said.

The duo now meets the winner of the first-round match between Hungary’s Timea Babos and France’s Kristina Mladenovic and the Croatian-Georgian duo of Darija Jurak and Oksana Kalashnikova.

SOURCE: Muscat Daily