In a recent NY Times interview, umpire Kader Nouni revealed how, when he was 16, a phone call with his girlfriend set the course of his career. “When he was 16, Nouni called a girlfriend at her home and her father picked up the phone, he recalled during a recent interview at Bryant Park in Manhattan.
The girl’s father handed the phone to his daughter, but the next day, Nouni’s girlfriend told him that her father didn’t believe they were the same age,” writes Jesus Jimenez of the NY Times. “Because of your voice,” Nouni remembered her saying.
“That’s how it all started”. Yet, Nouni was around tennis courts since he was little. “When Nouni was 12, a tournament organizer was looking for officials for a local competition, and Nouni was asked if he wanted to work as an umpire for adult matches.
He obliged, not realizing it would become his job for decades,” NY Times writes. “When you’re 12 years old and you have to deal with adults, and they have to listen to you, it’s kind of funny,” Nouni said.
Kader Nouni wants to be a good official
During his interview with New York Times, Nouni pointed out that he would like to be regarded as a good official rather than as a referee with a cognizable voice. “We always say that a good official is someone that we don’t talk about,” Nouni said.
“I always wanted to be good and wanted people to speak more about being a good official”. “If they want to keep talking about my voice, I have no problem anymore with that,” he said. Nouni said he does not plan to leave tennis soon.
“You cannot do this job if you don’t like it,” Nouni said. “Impossible. You don’t survive. I think I will stop when I feel like it’s time to stop, and I’m not enjoying it anymore”.