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Venus To Nigerian Players: Never Give Up On Your Dream

Venus Ubiebi is a female Nigerian tennis junior player who is presently working her socks off at the Rivera Tennis Academy in the United States of America after gaining scholarship to train and live there for free.

The player tutored by Coach Abel Ubiebi of the Aces Tennis Academy in Lagos has been more like a revelation since her movement to the United States and in an interview with Naija Tennis Special, she explained just how life has been since she got to America.

She also spoke about her new friends in the States, the problems with Nigerian tennis, and what should be done to make Nigerian tennis again.

Young Venus wants her Nigerian colleagues to keep fighting.

How did you feel when you first heard about your trip to the United States?

I was very excited because it was something I had been looking forward to having in a really long while. It was a great moment for me when I finally made it down here, and I have enjoyed every moment of my stay so far.

So, how has it been since you got to the Rivera Tennis Academy?

To be very honest, I have enjoyed my stay here so far. Things have been really good here and I believe it can only get better in the remaining days that I’ll be spending here.

What have you learnt since you got there?

A lot! Tennis techniques and strategy, how to be mentally and physically prepared, and several other basic things which one may not have learnt in Nigeria.

I have also learnt a bit of Spanish (smiles), their food, way of life and swimming.

What’s the major difference between Nigerian tennis and what you have over there?

To be very honest, there are not so many differences between what we have in Nigeria and in this place. The major thing I would say is the difference is that tennis here is really strict, especially when they are working on achieving something.

Venus and her dad (who doubles as her coach) on arrival at the airport in the United States.

How often do you train?


We train for about five days in a week and it is often very intensive, especially since we have a lot to achieve always.
Have you participated in any tournament so far?

No, not really. I played a doubles tournament just like a friendly competition for old people and I partnered a woman during the championship. It was really fun for me even though it was not totally a serious tournament like that; just like when members of a club play one another.

What do you hope to achieve by playing tennis?

To gain scholarship to play college tennis and see how it goes from there. If I do well in tennis, I go further and if it’s the other way, I shall focus on my studies and try to become an accountant which is my other goal in life.

How do you combine tennis and schooling?

When I was in high school, I used to train only on Fridays and Saturdays. On other days, I go to school and focus solely on my academics; that’s how I have been able to balance them both.
Venus is all smiles as she looks ahead into the future.
What life lesson have you learnt since you got to the Academy?

Quite frankly, it is very simple. Never give up on your dream!

With the few years you have played tennis, what do you think is the problem with Nigerian tennis?

Sponsorship! That’s the bane of tennis in Nigeria. The saddening thing is that most people are not ready to help even when they have the ability to.

Do you have any message to your coaches and maybe sponsors?

I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who has made it possible for me to get where I am today. Most especially my dad because I will not be where I am today without him.

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