First female Saudi pro tennis player wins Bahrain tournament

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Saudi tennis star Yara al-Haqbani defeated her Russian opponent Tamara Ermakova to win the J5 Isa Town tournament in Bahrain on Sunday.

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The 17-year-old prodigy took home a victory after scoring 6-4 and 6-2 in two sets.

It was the second time the pair had faced off. In the second round of the J4 Isa Town tournament in 2021, the Saudi player beat Ermakova 6-1 and 6-2 in two sets.

The win brings al-Haqbani’s record to 22 wins to 21 losses. She is currently ranked 946 by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

Al-Haqbani previously defeated Israel’s Isabell Bilaus in the semi-final of this year’s tournament on Saturday.

Born in 2004, al-Haqbani is the first female tennis player to represent Saudi Arabia at the professional level.

The Kingdom has seen a rise in female participation in sports in recent years amid a wave of reforms that have lifted many restrictions for women.

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