When you read the masterpiece of the little prince, depending on your personal stage the outcome is different. It does not have an end. The Rafa of today with the trophy represents the little prince, it has been reinvented.
Rafa is already the best player in history; he is one slam away to overcome Roger Federer but is only a matter of time, in my opinion on 2020. He is already the best not only for today’s win and be closer but to have turned more every detail in each one of the pillars and have won against a new player.
Jerry Shang is a 14-year-old player from China. He is part of the ASC Florida annual Tennis and School program for the last 2/2 years. Jerry came straight from ASC headquarters in Nanjing, where he started developing his skills as a player. Since Jerry and his father Yi landed in Naples, Florida in 2016 to play some tournaments, it has been nothing but a pleasure to work and be around them. He explains that at the time he thought that he wasn’t playing well, but that practiced at the Academy and liked the system and the possibility of combining both high-performance tennis and school. That’s when he decided to follow his dreams of being able to achieve a professional level of tennis and study at the same time.
Last June, a class of 12 students graduated from the Academia Sánchez-Casal and ESIS Barcelona. In the next months, they will start a new journey. Most of them will pursue a university career in the United States and/or Europe, combining sport and studies.
Some of our student-athletes who graduated last year, from the Class of 2018, have returned home this summer for vacations, after their first year of college. For them it has been an intense year, full of emotions, work and tennis. They want to share their experiences with us, by visiting and playing tennis again on the courts that have seen them grow and develop.
As the Class of 2019 prepares to graduate from ASC/ ESIS, a wide variety of opportunities await them in life, most immediately at colleges and universities throughout the United States. The 13 seniors, comprising the largest Academy class from Naples to graduate thus far, have accepted offers from some of the finest academic and athletic programs in the nation, among them Tufts University, Michigan State University and Brigham Young University.
There are only a few weeks for the long-awaited graduation of our students-athletes at ASC Florida, we wanted to interview our senior students and know their stories of how they got to Sanchez-Casal, what their expectations are in this new university stage, and their advice for young people who seek to balance tennis with their studies; they told us how all the effort was worth it in the end after so many years of sacrifice and hard work. Clara March, Aleksandra Caricir, and Casey Cummings of the Sanchez-Casal Florida Academy.
As Emilio Sánchez Vicario says, “Our academy graduates go to Harvard, they go to Columbia… but they also go to Wimbledon.” This is the main goal of the Academy, and to achieve it there is only one true method: offer the best high performance tennis training combined with an excellent academic education.
Someone once said that in life, what really counts are the moments that take your breath away. In the history of our Academy we have had many moments that have left us breathless. These have included many successes, and some failures; moments of knowledge and truth, and story after story of drive and passion. For each of us who are, or have been part of the Academy, these feelings are experienced in very different ways. For me, I focus on why it has happened. Sanchez-Casal has lived 20 years of history, and, in my opinion, the 20 key concepts below hold the secret to our longevity.
Sport offers many opportunities to learn and grow, and this is as true of wheelchair tennis as it is of any other sport. Jesus, Juan, Jennifer, Rocio and Domingo are patients of the National Hospital of Paraplegics in Toledo and they attend the Emilio Sánchez Vicario Foundation wheelchair tennis school as an important phase in their recovery.
The night before last we celebrated the 20th anniversary of Sánchez-Casal, with the whole Sánchez-Casal family in Barcelona. All together, we passed games and challenges in team building activities. There have passed twenty years since the Academy’s foundation but yesterday we all played as if we were children.