One of the best young tennis players in the Pacific Northwest brought her talents to Boca Raton to the Evert Tennis Academy with hopes of one day turning professional.
It’s hard being 16, you’re really good at tennis, but your hometown doesn’t really cater to the sport quite like here.
“Portland doesn’t really have as much tennis as down here in Florida,” Farida Abdelmoneum said.
Farida left Oregon as the No. 3 player in the Pacific Northwest. Her mom came with her to Boca in September.
“She decided to come here with me with the sacrifice of my dad and brother,” Farida said.
A typical day is 5:30 a.m. wake up call, followed tennis for two hours, fitness for an hour and then school for 4 hours.
“Yeah, I want to go to Harvard Law School,” she said.
She’s enrolled in the online K12 International Academy allowing her to train and travel while keeping up with school. She takes seven classes, three of them AP, one of them honors.
“Online school is a good tool for tennis,” she said.
In the afternoon, it’s back out to the court for more tennis.
“South Florida is the Mecca for tennis,” said Jacopo Tezza, the Executive Director at the Evert Tennis Academy.
He recruited her here after she visited for a summer camp.
“Immediately I saw somebody who was extremely dedicated, I like her work ethic and most of all I really like her demeanor,” he said.
“I was like so nervous. This is Serena Williams on the other side of the net,” Farida said.
Her love of tennis was cemented in 2014. She was at a tennis camp in France when she volleyed with her idol and now fellow Palm Beach County resident.
“Words of wisdom that she gave, just really empowered me in seeing someone like me, who looks like me, who plays like me on TV has inspired me so much. I’ve always said I want to be like Serena Williams,” she said.
Farida has an extra wrinkle to her game. She’s a lefty, 100 percent Egyptian and fluent in Arabic.