Meet the Match

A Tennis Icon Wants to Impact Generations

By the age of 11, Jenneta Hallyevva was the national tennis champion of Turkmenistan. Since 1994, she has been a national champion 13 more times (1994-2007). Her father introduced her to the sport at age six and she never looked back.

“I must say thanks a lot to my dad. He loves the sport of tennis and he wanted us, me and my younger sister, to have an opportunity to play. He involved us in this world when I was six years old. We walked to the courts five minutes from our apartment. He asked me to observe the other kids playing and from that moment, something clicked in my mind – I want tennis to be a part of me.”

As someone who has lived the international circuit, Jenneta understands what it takes financially, emotionally, and physically to make it on that level. She currently coaches the national juniors team and is a tennis coach at the Ashgabat School of Tennis. As a female coach in a country with an underdeveloped sports sector, Jenneta understands the difficulties girls face when entering the sports field and how hard they have to work to achieve any kind of international significance.

Through this program, Jenneta hopes to raise the level of tennis in Turkmenistan by creating a better infrastructure and more opportunities for girls to play. She is interested in the development of tennis in the United States and how it is managed, both on the professional level and on the junior levels. She wants to learn new strategies for encouraging girls to play, including how to market the benefits of tennis to parents. She would like to meet and learn from other women’s sports leaders and entrepreneurs with the hopes of starting her own tennis academy and mentoring program for girls.

“For me, tennis was never about being rich and famous. I just want to help people, people that are in need of my help. I love the sport. Actually to say I love it is incorrect. I am the sport, the sport is me. Tennis is like oxygen. I want to share that same feeling with other women. I want to pass on the lessons I learned to a young generation. Whatever I do, I do for our people and the country itself.”

We believe there is no greater fit for Jenneta than Diana and her team at the WTA. At the WTA, Jenneta can learn from the very best in women’s tennis administration. She will be exposed to all of the operational aspects, including the history of women’s tennis, management, marketing, memberships, and sponsorships. As a coach, she will receive technical advice from the pros and resources she needs to train other women to coach. We can’t wait to see how these tennis specialists collaborate and raise the level of tennis for women in Turkmenistan.

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