Inès Ibbou, an Algerian tennis player and world number 620, has written and published an open letter to Dominic Thiem to draw attention to her situation. The 21-year-old also complained about the statements of the Austrian, who had been critical of aid funds for tennis professionals in lower positions.
Even if Ibbou felt the Thiem’s words as “hurtful“, she does not want to criticise the Austrian too much. She wrote, “Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame you for who you are and for the current situation. Because above all, the responsibility lies with the national and international federations to look after the tennis family and clarify problems – in the interest of the sport.” “However, the words he used were disrespectful. But I’m open for everything. If he wants to talk, I’d be open to it“, she added.
According to an interview, Ibbou’s post aimed to “to draw attention to our situation and protect our integrity. Our voices also deserve to be heard”. The tennis players in Algeria are left without any support, sponsors or regular training opportunities. She hopes that her message gets heard by the responsible authorities, like the WTA, the ITF and the tennis federation so they can change some aspects of the tour.