Natasha Rizvi | Dhahran Tennis Star Shines in the U.S.

A former member of the Dhahran Junior Tennis Association has emerged as a true force with the women’s tennis team at the Air Force Academy in the United States. Natasha Rizvi, who got her start in tennis as a 9-year-old in Dhahran, recently garnered the International Tennis Association’s Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award in the United States. The Arthur Ashe Award recognizes outstanding individuals in all divisions at the regional and national level in the U.S. The award dates back to 1982 and goes to men’s and women’s players who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership, as well as scholastic, extracurricular, and tennis achievements. Rizvi served as the women’s team captain in her senior year and was named the team’s most valuable player for the second straight year after earning all-conference honors in both singles and doubles play this season. The 20-year-old set new school marks for the most doubles wins in a single season (28) and most wins in single season (51). Rizvi completed her senior year as the winningest player in school history with 170 career combined wins in singles and doubles, and was the school’s first Division I player to make the finals of three tournaments, winning two of them. She helped her Air Force team to its sixth straight winning season, with 18 wins against nine losses, recording the second most wins in the Division I era of the school’s history. Rizvi enjoyed a stellar junior tennis career growing up as a member of the Dhahran Junior Tennis Association. She started playing in tournaments throughout Asia when she was 11, and quickly established herself as a top player in her age group in the Middle East. Rizvi graduated this spring from the Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in management and is now a finance officer with the U.S. Air Force based in Hanscom, near Boston.