Abedallah Shelbay: The Jordanian Tennis Star’s Journey Towards the Top 100

There can be few more beautiful things in sport than taking your country to a place where no other has taken it. That is the challenge that Abedallah Shelbay has ahead of him with Jordan, a story of improvement on both sides.

And for now we can say that he has already managed to make his way, reaching the top 200 in the world rankings and winning his first Challenger title at the end of the previous year. But Abedallah Shelbay He is not satisfied, there are still many phases in his plan, among them learning from the best to become one of them. This is where the figure of the Rafa Nadal Academythe place that has seen him form these last few calendars and that has served as a springboard to lead him to professionalism.

“I was very lucky, of course, lucky to have so much support at that time in my life. Thanks to them I received very good advice, I had the opportunity to train with Rafa (Nadal), everything has been very special, it means a lot to me,” confesses the Jordanian in an interview for Olympics. “Rafa is no longer 20 years old, but in terms of intensity she still maintains them, he always plays at a very high intensity. Honestly, what has happened to me these last few years is something I could never imagine in my life,” he recalls excitedly.

Generation of 2003, the same as Alcaraz or Rune, friend Shelbay does not hesitate when it comes to asking him about his style on the court. “I use my hands a lot and I like to move towards the net. I’m not as tall as others, but I like to rely a lot on my serve, serve and volley. I am good at adapting to the situations that my rivals propose to me. Also, I love all surfaces, so I don’t think there is a specific word to define my game. I’m not the most powerful of the guys, I know that, but I know that I’m very fast and I have other assets,” analyzes the current #230 in the rankings.

The biggest handicap, that of not having any mirror to look at yourself in, we can say is already resolved. “Not having any example of a tennis player in Jordan, what I want is to show myself with good manners, to serve as an example. It makes me happy to know that they look at me, I would love to know that in Jordan new kids can soon come out playing at a high level of tennis,” he adds humbly, although right now the Arab world doesn’t just have him. “Ons Jabeur is a great inspiration for all of us, what she has done is inspiring for me, for everyone, but in my case she motivates me especially.”

Now it is only a matter of time before Shelbay travels those last meters to the top100, although sometimes they are the most complicated. It’s a matter of time for Jordan to show off having a tennis player competing in the final draws of a Grand Slam. “Playing tennis for a small country is difficult, we don’t have any tennis players who have reached that level… we never really had a tennis player at the absolute level. All this gives me motivation to go out there and represent my country in the best way possible. Jordan is not on the current tennis map, I hope someone is, that the sport can grow there. Our Jabeur He has achieved it, although Malek Jaziri I had already made my way. I hope to be the next, it is an honor to represent the Arab world,” she says with the responsibility that life has placed on her shoulders.


At 20 years old, Shelbay does not know what it is like to debut in a Grand Slam, she does not even have more than three official victories, but her career and potential point much higher than the place she occupies now. They know him well in Manacor, they welcomed him there since he was 14 years old and later saw him make the final at Wimbledon Junior. In the doubles category, yes, but it has to be done. Will we soon see this spanking among the hundred best in the world? He has no doubt: he is going to fight with all his soul.

“It would be something brutal for me, an incredible experience that I am working on with my team. Without a doubt, it would be another step forward in my career. The level right now is very high, we know that there are many players outside the top 100 who can do very well on the professional circuit. My goal is to advance as much as possible, see how far I can go on the ATP Tour. After the 2023 season, the first complete one on the tour, I am looking forward to what awaits me this year,” she concludes.

2024-02-29 10:32:54
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