Thursday, January 27, 2022

  • Thursday, January 27, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
UPDATE: I was mistaken, there was another tennis tournament in Dubai at the same time, not under ITF. See update below.)

On Sunday, I wrote that Arabic media was praising 14-year old Muhammad al-Awadi for withdrawing from a tennis tournament in Dubai because his semi-final match would have been against an Israeli.

Times Kuwait wrote called it "Heroic decision by Kuwaiti 14 year-old! "

Al Jazeera on Thursday picked up the story, showing that there were billboards celebrating Al Awadi in Kuwait, saying, "Thank you, hero!"



When I wrote the story, I tried to find the name of the Israeli player he was slated to play against, but I couldn't find anything. I couldn't find Al-Awadi either reaching the semi-finals of the J4 Junior Championships in Dubai. 

Now that there are billboards celebrating him as a hero, I decided to look again. 

I found that Al Awadi did play in the J4 in Dubai. That is the only truthful thing about this story.

He wasn't going to go to the semifinals. He didn't even make it to the main draw. He won one match in Round 1 of the knockout qualifying round, and then lost badly to Swiss player Arenui Luethi, 6-0, 6-1.



There weren't even any Israeli competitors in the tournament.

Al-Awasi's first round victory was the only game he has ever won in  juniors tennis according to the ITF. His record is one win, two losses.

This story was reported by the major media in the Muslim world - Anadolou Agency and Al Jazeera. Kuwait's tourism ministry is triumphantly tweeting the story.  No one bothered to check it. 

This is truly pathetic - for the boy, for the coach who apparently made this whole thing up, for the entire Muslim media for not checking the story at all. 

UPDATE: I was informed that there was another tournament at the exact same time in Dubai, the Dubai Bowl by Ten-Pro Global Junior Tour, i which Al Awasi did forfeit his match with Israeli Elad Ellner, who went on to win the tournament.




I apologize for the error.

UPDATE 2: I didn't notice that the Israeli player had competed against (and handily beaten) an Iranian competitor! (h/t ZioTroll)

UPDATE 3: Some Arabic language tweeters are feeling scammed by this story. The Dubai Bowl isn't a real tournament, anyone can enter if they pay a fee and everyone is guaranteed four matches. Kuwaiti media made it appear like Al Awadi refused to play the Israeli in the J4 Championships, not this fake tournament. 













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