Tennis in Iran

Editor’s note: since Armita’s article was published in Tennis Club Business, she has moved to Canada and joined the ACE tennis family as a tennis coach.
Moving to Canada for me was a long story but I’ll keep it short.  I always wanted to live in a country where people can make a high standard living and a country presents opportunities to people who want to improve their lives both professionally and personally.  So I chose Canada. To get here I needed a work permit visa as a tennis coach. Thanks to my certifications, I was successful, but of course it wasn’t easy. Thanks to a few friends along the way I was able to make this dream a reality.
Working for ACE Tennis has allowed me to demonstrate my abilities as tennis coach, I am beyond thankful for this opportunity. Rich Neher, publisher of Tennis Club Business, a friend of mine,  interviewed me on the topic of what it’s like for female tennis coaches in Iran. This was the start of a wonderful friendship, as this led me to Pierre Lamarche and ACE Tennis. I am so fortunate for these relationships. Thank you Rich Neher and Pierre Lamarche!
In the end, I am one lucky women.
Armita Omidian

How popular is tennis in Iran?

Tennis is becoming more popular these days in Iran. Actually, the main sports in Iran are soccer, wrestling, and volleyball. They have the most fans and as you know every athlete needs fans to become popular.

Tennis is growing very slowly in Iran because there is little investment in the sport. However, there is a new generation of players right now. They trained well in advanced styles of coaching and they are really good. There are some academies that started about 10 years ago and they hired some well-trained coaches that are very professional in leading a new generation of players. That’s why I do believe in the future of tennis in Iran.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a country of a little over 83 million people that is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations dating back to 678 BC. The capital Tehran is located in the north of Iran with a population of almost 9 million people.
Mansour Bahrami is a former professional tennis player. He is Iranian with dual French nationality since 1989. While only moderately successful on the ATP Tour, his showmanship has made him a long-standing and popular figure in invitational tournaments. He has this flamboyant style and propensity for trick shots and that’s why his 2009 English-language autobiography was titled “The Court Jester.”

Who are the Iranian tennis legends?

Iran has few tennis legends but I believe you will hear more about Iran’s tennis in the near future. At least in Asia. The most famous Iranian tennis legend is Master Mansour Bahrami. Unfortunately, I have not had a chance to meet him personally, our connection is just a comment under an Instagram post of mine which was a challenge between tennis players. He lives in France now and visits his home country of Iran occasionally.

Can tennis coaches make a living in Iran?

Like in every other occupation, if you do your homework well, you will achieve more. There are opportunities to make a good middle-class income if you work at least 50 hours a week as a coach or if you own a tennis academy.

As far as income and opportunities for women are concerned, it’s the same in Iran as in many other places of the world. However, it’s not too bad for a female tennis coach. If you are marketing yourself and teach well and conduct yourself appropriately,  you can earn more.

How can tennis be elevated in popularity and become more mainstream in Iran?

First of all, advertising. I think individuals would follow tennis in the media and subsequently become fans of the sport. Secondly, tennis needs investments from the Iranian government in courts, coaches, players, and other facilities. I personally believe the best way to increase the popularity of tennis is to explore the promotion of our sport at the school level.

?Tennis players from other countries should come to visit Iran, play tennis and create exchange opportunities with tennis groups there. Iran has not only players who are eager to play up, but also has many places to visit and have fun.

Armita and Emma Doyle

Why Canada?

I have a philosophy in my life that I have to move on, and Canada is one of the best countries which has the right environment for people who want to upgrade their lifestyle.

Unfortunately, I had to leave my husband Rouzbeh behind but he will join me soon. I can’t wait to have him here with me. I have to confess that Rouzbeh is my motivation and my energy source.

Iran was host to the ITF Level 4 World Tennis Championships tournament May 15-22. The nine nations participating with 112 players under 18 were Iran, Germany, Turkey, Romania, France, Russia, Denmark, Belgium, and the UK.

The final stage of the tournament was held at the Futures Club in Shiraz and an Iranian woman won the Final. Meshkat al-Zahra Safi beat Turkish player Polat 6-0, 6-0 in the J4 Girls category.


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