Angeles Montolio article
Montolio falls in love with Arabic
She loves Arabic for the artistic way it is written. She speaks Arabic too, though not fluently.
Seventh seeded Angeles Montolio from Spain, who beat Camille Pin of France to reach the second round of the Dubai Tennis Open Championship on Tuesday, has this great love for languages and has learned to speak six, as of today.
Pointing out to a few words written in Arabic at the stadium, 24th ranked Montolio said: "I love this language because I think it is art to write this way. I am now learning to write it." Learning new languages is as serious as playing tennis, for Montolio.
This Spanish player practices and plays during the day, while evenings are reserved for studying and reading, whenever possible. Currently she is learning Arabic from a Moroccan at the University of Barcelona.
To get used to the language, she tries to speak Arabic at the slightest opportunity. "Selima Sfar (from Tunisia) and I try to speak in Arabic on the tour, though we mostly speak in English.All that I can manage in Arabic now is, 'Hello', 'How are you' and 'Do you want to practice'," she said with her characteristic smile.
It is more as a hobby that Montolio tries learning new languages, though she also enjoys reading books on history and literature. "I enjoy knowing about different cultures and that's why I'm studying Arabic culture too," said Montolio, who also plans to visit Greece and learn about its history.
Montolio, the youngest of the three sisters was introduced to tennis at age 12 by her father.
She caught the attention of tennis lovers in 1994, when as a qualifier and ranked 210 she upset No.11 Lindsay Davenport at Houston. The victory helped her jump up the ranking to No.136.
Clay courts have been her favourite surface,and last year she reached the semifinals of the Budapest and Klagenfurt tournaments. In last year's Wimbledon, Montolio managed to save seven match points against the then World No.1 Martina Hingis in the first round, before bowing out.
Whether it's playing tennis, learning a new language or studying history, this culture lover does it with passion. Her pleasing smile has won the hearts of many tennis fans here.
Additionally, her love for Arabic could see many locals supporting her, and that in Arabic, in her second round.