Kassam ready to set Egypt alight and claim the African junior tennis crown
22/06/21 Nairobi, Kenya
Star Field’s academy sensation Rinaaz Kassam will fly the Kenyan flag in Cairo, Egypt during the Africa Junior Tennis Championships Under-16 category scheduled to take place between 22nd and 27th June, 2021.
Kassam who departed Kenya on Sunday night spoke of her excitement on making her maiden tennis trip out of the country and she hopes that this is the start of many more to come.
"I was really nervous - don't get me wrong - I didn't look nervous but I was nervous inside," she says prior to the announcement from Tennis Kenya that she had actually made the team to Egypt.
It is her family that is keeping her grounded and motivated. "My parents always taught me to be calm in those moments and remember that pressure is a privilege. That's what I remembered during those moments."
The upcoming championship in the land of the pyramids is an esteemed event in Africa. Not only does it count towards the qualification for the renowned junior Davis Cup but also the junior Fed Cup.
She’s is becoming a hot ticket at the moment at least that's what it looked like from outside."The news of Kassam making the team is incredible. She has an inner strength that is completely unusual." Star Field coach Allan Saha commented.
There is still a reassuring reminder from Kassam that she does nevertheless still know how to be a teenager. She has been enjoying her beloved sport on ‘PowerBase Tennis Trainer’ - which is a device that sets up virtually anywhere, something which she acquired during lockdown. She has also been learning Spanish to go with her tennis fitness program.
"If she can start winning pro titles at 15 then who knows how many she could win. It could also be that she finds herself more prepared than many players to deal with what will be a very different-looking tennis championship when it commences in Cairo.
The Africa Junior Tennis Championships will be taking place behind closed doors, meaning no raucous home crowds cheering the hosts’ players on; it should feel a very even tournament.
"It will be easier for me to address," she says. "I’m taking this tour out of the dedication I’ve had in my game over the last few months - a year ago, I would not have imagined that something of this sort would have happened to me this soon, it was a real shock when I learnt about it, so I will just go there and enjoy my involvement while working hard to win matches for myself and team Kenya alongside my selected teammates Faith Urasa and Cynthia Cheruto,” she concluded.