Mubaraka Alnaimi is a Qatari tennis player. She plays for the Qatar national team and represents it in different tennis competitions. She was born on 13 April 2001 and has been playing tennis since she was six years old; it's something she's very passionate about. She's currently applying to universities to completer her education while she continues playing tennis and is hoping to get a scholarship!
She has won many awards, her last being the 2020 Qatar Rail Tennis Open Tournament!
The ILoveQatar.net team had the chance to do an exclusive Q&A session with Mubaraka and got to learn more about her as a person and as an ace tennis player who has represented Qatar many a time in different tennis tournaments.
Mubaraka: I feel proud, thankful and lucky at the same time to represent my country and to give all my talent to represent Qatar in such a unique sport like tennis. I am thankful and happy every time I step onto the court to represent Qatar. I feel like I have to give my all to bring the good image of Qatari athletes on the court with full respect for all the players I play against.
Mubaraka: Actually, I wasn't planning on being a tennis player, it all happened rather suddenly. When I was in school, my brother brought home a brochure of the Qatar Tennis Federation for registration. My mother took me and my brother there and I started playing tennis when I was six years old. At the age of nine, I became part of the national team. At this time, I also started competing outside Doha. I played in many tournaments.
Mubaraka:Locally, I've won more than 20 awards, and in Asia, I won the doubles twice and I got the second position in the singles. In 2019, internationally I won first place in the doubles and second place in the same tournament.
Mubaraka: My favourite matches are the ones that I have played for the WTA in Qatar like the Qatar Total Open, and there are two matches that I really really enjoyed and loved. The first was my singles finals in the 2014 Asian tournament. I didn't win but I gave my best. And, then in 2019, when I won the International tournament and took the trophy. I could not believe that I had won this tournament. Actually, for this tournament, when I went there, I was feeling down, so I couldn't believe that even with this feeling I would win and take the trophy back with me to Qatar. I am happy that I won and that I fought even when I was feeling low.
Mubaraka: Me! Believing in myself and never giving up. I always tell the people close to me that if you believe in yourself, you will reach your dreams and achieve your goals and everything you want. I have been through many ups and downs as a tennis player, but one thing I kept telling myself was to never give up and I think I am the person that made me continue playing tennis and never let myself down. I believe in my talent and my hard work that one day I will be more successful as a tennis player and reach the height of my career.
My family and my friends have always supported me to continue doing what I like, so I am lucky they are always beside me. All the athletes, especially the women in Qatar have also been supportive.
Video credit: bigbfotografi
Mubaraka: For me, this is just the beginning of my professional career. I want to play tournaments outside Qatar and compete professionally because when I started it was just for experience. Now, I want to compete for real and feel what the top players feel competing every week, every month in different countries. I hope to set a plan with the Federation and also with my University.
Mubaraka: I want my career highlight to be winning the Qatar Total Open. I also dream of, one day, playing in the centre court of the US Open and winning.
Mubaraka: My favourite sportsperson is Serena Williams. I have loved her since I started playing tennis. She is my role model and my inspiration, too.
Mubaraka: After tennis, my favourite sport is handball because my older sister is a handball player, and my brother who started playing tennis with me, quit and took up handball. They are both part of the national handball team in Qatar. I love watching them play and I play with them for fun when I can. When I was in high school, I also played handball in the Olympic school competitions for fun.
Mubaraka: First of all my sister, who I am very proud of because she is a very strong woman and she has supported me a lot. I am thankful that I have a sister like her. And also, Serena Williams. These two people have inspired me a lot.
Mubaraka: I have learned a lot of good things since I was young travelling and meeting new people, learning about their culture, communicating with different people, how to respect different religions and traditions. I have friends from different countries. I play with different players and I learn from them. I have also learned to help others as a team and trust our teammates and our coach. It's an individual game and I play alone on the court, but my team and my coach are always outside supporting me and that's one of the best feelings.
Mubaraka: My ultimate goal is to become one of the top 100 players in the world and raise my country's flag in international tournaments.
Video credit: Team Qatar
Mubaraka: I haven't made many mistakes, but at one time, I had the right to talk and defend myself and my dreams, but I didn't because I was younger at that time. But now, I know what to say, what to do and I will fight back to remain on the right path towards success, continue dreaming, playing tennis, and never stop because of people who tell me negative things. I have played tennis for 13 years now and will continue to see the positive side of my career
Mubaraka: The hardest decision I had to make was to continue playing tennis because it's a hard game mentally more than physically. Tennis players must always focus, and never let their emotions distract them when they are practising or playing. It's quite hard to stay stable mentally and tennis is also a very hard game to play and compete every week and throughout the year, but at the same time, I am thankful that I continued playing. I have no regrets about making this decision in my life because now I am the luckiest person amongst all my friends, I think. I really like what I'm doing and I'm proud of myself!
Mubaraka: I would like people to remember me as the first female Qatari tennis player, and I want to inspire a lot of the young generation, not only in tennis but all the sports in Qatar. I want them to remember me as the number one Qatari tennis player in the Gulf soon, and in the Arab nations also, I would like to be number one. Also, I hope they remember me always with a good image. I try my best to give the nicest impression of me to all the young generation and the women of my age.
Mubaraka: To be strong mentally and to be patient. To communicate more and to listen to people.
Mubaraka: Motivated. Confident. Patient. Creative. Hardworking.
Mubaraka: I am more social in real life as compared to how I may come across on social media. I am more comfortable talking with people in real life than talking to them behind the scenes. People think I don't talk a lot but when I meet people I interact with everyone.
Mubaraka: My hobbies are swimming, skating, drawing, singing and dancing.
Mubaraka: South Korea. I love this country. I have been there twice. Nice people. Nice places. Very good food. And, so my favourite food is definitely Korean cuisine and, of course, Qatari!
Mubaraka: My motto is to believe in yourself. Never give up. Keep going no matter what happens.
Mubaraka: My message, especially for the women in Qatar who would like to play sports: fight for your dreams. Do everything you can to show your talent. Take a chance to represent Qatar. Work hard.
And, I would love for older people in Qatar to support me as a tennis player, and to focus on other sports as well; not just football. Support us tennis players more. Support me more so I can keep going with a powerful mindset and reach my goals.
I thank the people who have stood with me since I started playing with the national team until now and are supporting me.
I also want to thank I Love Qatar for supporting me and helping me share my story as a tennis player.
Cover image credit: Mubaraka Alnaimi
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