Jordanian tennis player Abdullah Shelbayh walked out to the court at the Moselle Open wearing a Palestinian kufiya. A kufiya is a chequered black and white scarf worn around the neck, symbolizing Palestinian nationalism and solidarity.
Shelbayh, who had to qualify for the tournament, lost his round of 16 match to Lorenzo Sonego. It’s impressive to see a young tennis player take a strong stance on a divisive issue. His stance on Palestine is likely to affect both his sponsorship opportunities and his standing within the wider tennis community.
Abdullah Shelbayh played college tennis at the University of Florida for one year before turning pro. In 2023, he won his first Challenger title at Charleston. He plays left-handed like his idol Rafael Nadal. He also practices at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca.