Hicham Arazi, one of Morocco’s most prominent tennis players and who has carried Morocco’s name and flag high in major sporting events, after achieving many successes in Moroccan and Arab tennis in general.
Originally from the Amazigh city of Taroudant, he was born in Casablanca in 1973, but lived his childhood in France, where he immigrated at the age of two. His passion for tennis began at an early age, to the point that he dropped out of high school, the love that is natural as his father was a tennis coach and his three brothers also played the sport. He played for some small clubs in the economic capital when he was only 13 years old, before entering the profession world at the age of 17, when he started participating in national and international tournaments.
Arazi’s name began to circulate among professionals when he competed in the Dubai Tennis Championships in 1995, but he shone in the Australian Championships in 1998, after qualifying for the quarter-finals before his successive victories, notably in the Monte Carlo Championship final and the Roland Garros quarter-finals, on several occasions and in the Australian Open quarter-finals on two occasions, all of which are in addition to his historical achievement when he defeated world tennis giant Roger Federer in 2002 at the French Open, or when he defeated tennis star André Agassi at Indian Wells.
Arazi managed to rank 22nd in the world in 2001. He has kept himself for more than eight years as one of the top 100 tennis players in the world. He has won great victories for his country, Morocco, at the Hassan II Cup and during his participation in the Davis Cup, among others. It has marked the history of Moroccan tennis as Younes El Aynaoui and Karim Alami did.
Arazi used his left hand to play, which allowed him to achieve great performances that were admired and respected by the best players. This earned him the nickname of the “stadium magician”, which he abandoned in 2007, after realizing the dream he had when he was a child once he accompanied his father to watch tennis matches and asked him: “Why doesn’t the Moroccan flag fly with the other flags of the participating countries?”