Younes El Aynaoui
() (born 12 September 1971 in Rabat
) is a professional tennis player
He is a five-time singles winner on the ATP
Tour and reached his career-high singles ranking of No. 14 in 2003, at the age of 31. His long career has been plagued by injuries and he did not play competitive tennis between September 2008 and January 2010. However in December 2009 he scheduled to play at the ATP Champions Tour
tournament in London
, where he made his debut at the senior tour.
Popularity in Morocco
El Aynaoui is an extremely popular figure in Morocco. He received a gold medal – the nation's highest sporting honor – from King Mohammed VI
. In a 2003 poll by leading Moroccan newspaper L'Economiste
, readers named El Aynaoui their favorite role model for society, ahead of the prime minister and athletics star Hicham El Guerrouj
. The center court of the Royal Tennis Club in Marrakech
is named after El Aynaoui.
At the Bollettieri Academy
In 1990, at the age of 18, El Aynaoui traveled to Bradenton, Florida
, to spend a week at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy
, after which he decided to turn professional. He continued to hone his skills at the academy for the next two years where, in order to afford the fees, he drove the academy bus, cleaned the gym, strung rackets, tossed practice balls to campers, and helped to babysit younger players.He also saved money in a high interest account.
First ATP singles final
In 1993,... Read More