Thank you for your amazing support, but we’re not done yet …

It has never been a question of money only. If you believed so, then you should think again, or read better...
Doha open 2020

I would like to thank everybody from the bottom of my heart for the unbelievable support. These past few days have been crazy, never in a million years would I have imagined something like this happening.

However, I wasn’t surprised by the thousands of messages from people saying they’re going through the same things, weather you’re a tennis player or an athlete. Most importantly during this difficult time, so many people from everywhere in the world thank you again for your kind words. I hope nothing but the best and pray for you to find that strength that helps you cope with whatever life throws at you.

“I feel proud of who I am, where I come from, I take pride with my ups and downs, proud of what I’ve achieved so far, proud of my expectations, and even prouder of my challenges and battles.”

Also, I received very few comments saying that “life is not fair”, “life is hard”, that I “should accept it”, “deal with it”, and all that stuff. Thank you for those comments, however you would be surprised of how well I know this by now. My life has always been a fight and I’m dealing with that every single day, I even surprise myself being that resilient, but that doesn’t change the fact that sometimes I feel down and cry. On a different note, everyone has their own journey, life, and problems to deal with and this is my life. I feel proud of who I am, where I come from, I take pride with my ups and downs, proud of what I’ve achieved so far, proud of my expectations, and even prouder of my challenges and battles. They have undoubtedly shaped who I am today and I wouldn’t change that for anything.

I want to make the following very clear:
Did I complain? NO. Did I blame someone for this? NO. NEVER! I’m a positive woman that never gives up? Always, I keep my head up and trying to find a solution .

I have accepted the fact that life’s hard (there’s no free lunch) a long time ago, in silence. That’s exactly the reason why I’m still here, trying to be competitive and achieve my goals regardless of the conditions.

Nevertheless, accepting this idea doesn’t change the fact that opportunities are not equal for all, regardless, in life or in sports, especially in tennis. It is not equal, it never was and should we accept it? I truly don’t believe so.

Can you really compete an entire year, when you always arrive the day before the first game of the tournament? After more than 40 hours trip, planes, stopovers, jet lag, trains, simply because you cannot afford to arrive earlier. On the other hand, you have your opponent who took a direct flight, with family and staff, sometimes in business class, arriving one week or two before the start of the tournament, having budget and time for spas, massages, and being fresh to start.
I ask myself, how many tournaments could I not afford? How many tournaments I’ve missed because of flight delays, missed connections, no budget to modify ticket, no refund from the hotel I previously booked, and on top of that a 400 dollars fine from ITF for late withdrawal. Great, a whole budget from generous and compassionate people gone. How many points lost? I could literally write a book about my crazy adventures on the tour, and many other issues in the tennis world.

I can assure you that so many coaches, players, tennis experts told me multiple times that I should just give up because of my conditions. Guess what? I didn’t, here I am.

It’s hard, but I don’t blame anyone for this. I’m genuinely glad for those who can afford it, If you have the chance to do it, take it and move forward! I would do the same thing and I respect you for that.

I ask myself, how can a young woman like me, achieving what I’ve achieved in juniors, playing Roland Garros (twice), Us Open, or Wimbledon, doesn’t have a real possibility to prove herself just
because I supposedly wasn’t born in the right place for tennis? Extremely unfair.
Why bother putting tennis on tv? Don’t you make mountains of money from it? Why do you let a young girl like me admire get inspired by the greatest like, Billie Jean King, Venus & Serena, Selima Sfar who opened the path for arabs and north-africans players? Ons Jabber, and many more incredible women.

Something is simply not working with the system, because so many people share my reality.

If we’re not allowed to play, just let us know from the beginning, “Hey, you got some talent! However, we’re sorry you’re just allowed to watch it on tv. This game is reserved for rich people, from explicit countries please don’t waste your life.”

“Why do you let a young girl like me admire get inspired by greates like, Billie Jean King, Venus & Serena, Selima Sfar who opened the path for arabs and north-africans players? Ons Jabber, and many more incredible women.

In other words, don’t make me taste your food, if you don’t invite me at your table!

I’m sorry, but I believe that sports are made for everyone, tennis included. I want to see tennis everywhere, In my country and in Africa, I want that beautiful tennis culture. If someone’s good enough, then give her/him a fair chance to prove themselves. You want to make sure that you’re watching the best? Then give everyone a chance.

I love this game….deeply. I would love to see more Pro tournaments in countries like mine, better access to this sport. Wouldn’t it be better for clubs? Academies? Coaches? Educators? Wouldn’t it increase the global audience of tennis? Increase profit? Jobs? Prize-money? It’s a win win!

I will carry on fighting with these rules, but I don’t agree with them. Many things could improve very quickly and easily with just a bit more of consideration. Like any other rule, tennis rules are made to be improved and evolve to the better.

 

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Again, my letter was just a reply to some hurtful words.
I could’ve been angry and disrespectful in my message, but that’s never the way. Again, I want to simply share my story and use it in the most constructive way. Its a story of many tennis players, many athletes, and so many more fighting hard in their life to achieve their dreams. Whoever they are, wherever they come from and so many still to face it. I replied by sharing my story to make everybody understand that you can’t judge people at a glance, and to show a reality that in fact many ignore. You don’t like being judged by people right? Me neither. Please remember that negative comments and harsh words can definitely get to you and affect people’s lives in a very negative way, both emotionally and physically. Now more than ever the world needs to support one another and spread positive vibes.

In spite of everything, I respect Dominic Thiem’s career and talent. He had a chance and took it. I respect his sacrifice, getting to where he is is extremely difficult. I know he went through many challenges and slowly worked his way up, he is an incredible talent and hardworker. I’ve already said that I don’t blame him for anything, and he’s in no way responsible for our situation. Nobody’s perfect, we all make mistakes. Myself included, I could be very good at it sometimes. However, I blame the fact that rules are not made for all. I blame the fact that nobody anticipated this kind of situation where many tennis players are in right now. I blame the general lack of solidarity in this difficult time. I blame the conditions that forced me to write this open letter.

Why nobody’s just more curious about our situation?

Replying by saying you didn’t watched my whole video when you’re complaining that people didn’t read you’re whole interview is just not satisfiying enough as an answer. You really expect more from a champion… especially in terms of responsibility… But i don’t want to insist on him. He doesn’t care, and he’s still not the problem.

If my career has to come to an end because of the lack of means or for any other reason, I don’t want my sacrifice to go to waste. I don’t want to go back to my homeland, without a single diploma, no means, no opportunities, and believing people’s judgement, while in reality they don’t know anything about me. Especially when some of them take some malicious delight trying to destroy young ladies like me just because of their greed, ineptitude and pervesion…

IT DOESN’T AFFECT ME AT ALL! YOU’RE GIVIN’ ME STRENGHT, THANK YOU. 

Especially when i had the chance to be surrounded by the right people who’s sharing this sacrifice with me. An unexpected gift from heaven…

https://www.instagram.com/p/B0ZRwC6IGyy/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading

 

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B22GTc5oUgA/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading

 

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In the meantime I will carry on fighting hard, moving forward, and still chasing for any good chance, even the smallest one, to just prove myself. I want to know what I’m worth and be the best I can be. I don’t mind the past. I only focus on present and future!

I think it’s time to have a real discussion about tennis. It’s time to improve the game. If this wasn’t the case, my message wouldn’t attracted mass medias and all this attention and support, even from some of the greatest of this game. This crisis is the right time to do it and I’m sure that many of you have good ideas to make tennis a better game, and for everyone. Let’s work on it all together! Those next days i will think about some proposal…

You’re support is a blessing and gives me purpose. You are the reason why I stay positive.

Stay healthy, stay safe, and please take care of yourselves.

Be proud guys ✊🏽😘

XXX

Ines

 

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