Khartoum — Sudanese sportswoman Buthainah Yahya excessively adores lawn tennis since early years of her age, she was born and brought up in the Tennis House and witnessed championships since she was five years old until Buthainah won Africa's Lawn Tennis Championship and went on to win more than 10 gold medals in regional championships.
SUDANOW reporter Amgad Mustafa Amin made the following brief interview with the Tennis Champion:
Q: Your ID?
A: Buthainah Adam Dawood Ahmed, 25 years old, professional tennis player and assistant teacher in the Unity School.
Q: your start as a sportswoman?
A: I hail from a sports family, both my sister Samia and my brother Nor al-Dinn were champions of Africa, besides we have been brought up in the Tennis Club House near the Khartoum Airport as my father used to work in that club and therefore we lived there. I began practicing tennis since I was five years old. I won the second place in the first championship I contested, although I was the youngest contestant.
Q: Why have you taken tennis as your sport?
A: As I have just told you, I was brought up in the Tennis Club and we are a sports family. Secondly my father was a worker and also a tennis coach; my sister Samia and my brother are both players and champions. Add to this the excellent environment and encouragement by the coaches and administrators in addition to the support and encouragement by my parents and the board of directors.
Q: What about the internal contests in which you have participated?
A: I won the gold medals in under 14 and 16 contests. But my problem in women tournaments is that my sister Samia puts me in the shadow because of her excellent standards.
Q: What was your first regional gold medal?
A: I won the first place in an African championship that was organized in Kenya in 2013. I got gold medal in the singles and doubles, and I also won the first place and gold medal also in Kenya in 2013. And in the same year I won the first place and gold medal in the championship that was held in South Africa and for this I was granted a month-long training scholarship in a training center in South Africa supervised by the International association. It was very useful to me in my sports career.
I won the first place in the singles and doubles in the East and Central African Championship in 2014 and I achieved the same place in Kenya. Altogether, I have won more than 10 gold medals.
Q: How different is Tennis from the other sports?
A: Tennis is very difficult and, though prestigious, it is a game that requires skill, technique and elegance, not only grabbing the bat. It is healthy because it makes both the brain and body work together. It is a smooth and enjoyable game.
Q: So, can we assume that there are specific qualities for practicing tennis?
A: Of course, the sport requires smartness, alertness and fitness.
Q: Why has participation in the foreign championships been suspended?
A: The participation in foreign championships, which used to be held four times each year, has been suspended for unknown reasons. In addition to the local ones, the foreign championships were useful for betterment of our standards. Even the local championships have now been reduced to one event a year. Moreover, there is the lack of financial incentives and moral support which were of a great encouragement to us for practicing the sport and for this reason many players have quitted.
Q: Why have you stopped playing tennis?
A: I had a serious leg injury and I had several surgeries, further to the above mentioned situations.
Q: Who are the best national tennis players today?
A: My brother Nour al-Deen who left the country for study in New Mexico on a scholarship, he is well known there as he regularly participates in university competitions.
Q: Who are the tennis players that you like to watch?
A: Of course Serena and Venus Williams after whom my sister Samia and myself been named by the public, and Roger Federer.
Q: What are your future plans?
A: After I get married I will focus on raising my children to be international champions in tennis and I will be involved in training or administration of the game the love of runs deep in my veins.
Q: How do you look at the demolishing of part of the tennis grounds?
A: I grieved a great deal. The wall remains in the memory of every tennis player because it was the starting point.
(Khartoum State authorities have recently chopped 6,000 square meters from the Club area which used to accommodate a number of tennis grounds, something was censured by the public).
Q: What do you like to say, in conclusion?
A: I appeal to the state to pay attention to the sports activities and to women in particular because they have the potential of excelling in sports.