In a shocking turn of events, the Syrian Tennis Federation has banned Syrian tennis player Kareem Al Allaf for playing a match against Israel’s Nitzan Ricklis in Arkansas last week.

Al Allaf produced a strong showing against Rickles and defeated him in straight sets 6-1, 6-1 at an M15 event in Fayetville. The tournament was part of the ITF World Tennis Tour. The 24-year-old who has helped legends like Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray in the past received a huge shock after getting banned by the Syrian Tennis Federation.

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Kareem Al Allaf (Image credit: The Daily Iowan)

Al Allaf was born in Des Moines and has American roots. He currently resides in Dubai and represented Syria at the Davis Cup, where he has an 18-9 win-loss record.

An Egyptian journalist posted on her Twitter handle about the incident and wrote:

“Syrian tennis player @KareemAllaf played against and defeated Israeli player Nitzan Ricklis last week in a $15k in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

As a response, the Syrian Tennis Federation has banned him.

Hope @ITFTennis do something. This nonsense has got to stop.”

It will be interesting to see if ITF indeed intervenes in the matter that has rocked the tennis world. Al Allaf is currently ranked world No. 773. He has won 12 singles matches so far and lost 5 (at the ATP Tour level, Grand Slams, and Davis Cup). In the doubles circuit, he has won 6 matches and lost 4. He has also won a doubles title so far in his career. Al Allaf has an all-time wins record for singles and doubles combined in college tennis at the University of Iowa.

Twitter reactions

Let’s take a look at how the tennis world has reacted on Twitter to the incident.

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Kareem Al Allaf (Image Credit: Iowa Hawkeyes)

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