INTERVIEW: 5 minutes with… Mubadala Community Cup winner Ege Topkoc

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Fresh from his win in the region’s biggest tournaments, we catch up with a budding ten year-old tennis star

Every year, the region’s largest amateur tennis tournament, the Mubadala Community Cup, sees over 300 aspiring players aged eight and above compete for a chance to play alongside one of the six participating pros at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC).

Two-time winner Ege Topkoc, aged 10, is one of 24 youngsters who recently secured his position at the player tennis clinic by winning the 10& Under category.

Having competed across the UAE and even abroad, the talented Turkish youngster is a promising star. Following his recent win, we sit down with Ege to talk tennis idols and his biggest support club.

How did you get into tennis?

When I was four years old, when I moved to the UAE, my dad brought me to a tennis club and that’s how I started. I like that tennis makes me relax when I hit the ball and it releases the stress inside me so I feel better.

When did you realise you wanted to compete?

I’ve wanted to be in competitions for the last two years. I used to play basketball but I stopped and focused more on tennis. There are a lot of competitions [in Dubai and Abu Dhabi] but the Mubadala Community Cup is the best one that I’ve been in.

It’s my favourite because it’s a really well organised tournament. The trophy is the best one I’ve won; they’re like the exact ones the pros get but a bit smaller.

You’ve won the chance to play with a pro at the MWTC…

Yes. Last year I played with Rafa and he was very friendly and funny. He didn’t teach us but we just played with him. I don’t know yet [who I’ll play this year] but since I played with Rafa last year, I want to play with [Andy] Murray.

Who’s your favourite pro tennis player?

Roger Federer. His style of playing is really close to mine, and he’s a gentleman on the court – he’s not that aggressive with his feelings and he’s kind.

What do your parents think of your future tennis career?

They support me so much so I appreciate them. They’re always there when I need them and they’re the main reason I started tennis. I think it is [important to have their support] because where else would you get things like your racquet, strings, bag and all the things you need.

So who will you be cheering for at the MWTC?

I want Rafa or Murray to win.

Mubadala World Tennis Championship is hosted from 29th to 31st December at Zayed Sports City. Tickets are available at Virgin Megastore outlets and ticketmaster.ae

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