Women’s sport in Saudi Arabia has achieved a milestone after the country sent its first female team to an International Tennis Federation (ITF) event.
A four-member Saudi team is participating in the Asia/Oceania pre-qualifying event of the Billie Jean King Cup Juniors in Colombo, Sri Lanka, this week.
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“This is an amazing experience, and it is so empowering,” Saudi Arabia captain Areej Farah said.
“Taking part in this event is a big step for women’s tennis in Saudi, and we are all very proud to represent our country and do our best,” she said. “Watching doors open for our young Saudi female athletes is just beyond exciting.”
History has been made at the #BJKCup Juniors Asia/Oceania pre-qualifying event 🤩
Tap to read ⤵️#AdvantageAll
— ITF (@ITFTennis) February 22, 2023
Recent reforms have started to open up more opportunities for Saudi women, including in sport. Saudi Arabia’s women’s football team played their first match in February 2022.
The ITF said it has been working with the Saudi Arabian Tennis Federation on the development of junior initiatives over the past few years.
“The Saudi Arabian Tennis Federation’s approach of developing junior tennis has helped them form a girls team, which is participating at an ITF team event for the first time,” said the ITF’s development officer for Western and Central Asia, Amir Borghei. “It is wonderful to see.”