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Young Tennis Star Omar Jasika Pays Tribute to Paul Arber and Visits MTC

Posted: 18-Sep-2014 by Tennis

Omar Jasika holds his trophy after winning the US Open Boys' Singles

Omar Jasika, 2014 US Open Junior Singles and Doubles Champion, has dedicated his victories last weekend to Maccabi Tennis Club legend Paul Arber. Omar, who used to practise on our courts daily for many years and assisted as a last-minute replacement for Maccabi teams on occasions, produced a remarkable fortnight of tennis, demonstrating fighting qualities reminiscent of Paul. It has been 28 years since a player last won both boys' singles and doubles titles at the US Open. Omar joins an illustrious list of names including Pat Cash, Stefan Edberg, David Nalbandian, Andy Roddick, Richard Gasquet, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Andy Murray and Bernard Tomic as past winners of the US Open boys' singles.

Click below for the AGE newspaper article

Just days after arriving back into Australia from Flushing Meadows in New York, Omar visited the Maccabi Tennis Club during the Club Championship finals to thank the Club for its support and encouragement over the years and during the US Open. Omar thrilled some of the Club's juniors by rallying with them for over an hour and presenting trophies and awards.

After his singles triumph, Omar posted on his Facebook page:

'At a time of great happiness in my life, I would like to take a moment to remember someone special, who was a close friend and mentor of mine Paul Arber. He often talked about the US Open and how I could maybe play there one day if I practiced hard enough. When I was competing in New York I remembered those words and it helped me. I would like to dedicate my recent US Open victory to you Paul and the many memories we had together when I was younger.' 

Paul Arber was a much loved and highly respected tennis player and coach, two-time State Grade Pennant Player of the Year and Singles Champion at the Victorian Jewish Tennis Championships in 2011 and 2012. Together with close friend and co-coach Asaf Nagar, Paul led and captained the Club in successful Grade 1 and 2 Pennant teams. Grade 1 is the highest playing level achieved in the Club's history and higher than the equivalent level of play attained by a Maccabi sporting team of any sport in Victoria.

Paul had a such a profound influence on the Maccabi Tennis Club and community. This extended to Omar, whom Paul mentored and gave lessons pro bono several times a week. Omar dedicated his win to Paul at the presentation ceremony of his winner's trophy.

Paul died tragically in New Zealand in December 2013 but his legacy continues to live on and as is evident with Omar's sensational performance, Paul's memory and impact is still inspiring tennis players at our Club, around Australia and internationally at the highest level.

The Maccabi Tennis Club community is very proud of the connection we have built over the years with Omar, father Mitch and mother Sabina, who has been preparing food and catering for the Club for more than six years. We wish Omar continued success as he becomes set to join the professional tour in the near future!!

Paul Arber in action for Maccabi
Paul Arber coaching, sporting a Trademark Tennis hat (the tennis coaching business he set up with business partner Asaf Nagar) and a Maccabi tennis shirt.
Young gun Jamie Muscatel with Omar Jasika
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