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.
It’s 6:00am and Julia’s alarm clock sounds. Outside it’s still a bit dark and quiet. She prepares her tennis bag and grabs her racquet. She walks five minutes from the house to the cafeteria with some campers to meet the big group and have breakfast by 6:30am. Breakfast includes cereal, toast, ham and cheese sandwiches, fruit juice and milk.
At 7:00am she’s on the court to start her morning practice for three hours. It’s a sunny day as almost every day is in Naples, Florida. After tennis practice, she has an hour of fitness to stretch but also goes through a tennis specific performance training.
It was 2014 when I first came across Academia Sanchez-Casal. I had just finished 10th grade and was frustrated with my daily life in India. I always felt like there was something holding me back and that I could perform better, both as an athlete and as a student. So, when I decided to join ASC, I came prepared to work hard and take my tennis to a new level, but what I got was truly something extraordinary. The two years I spent here was the most enriching years of my life. The quality of the tennis and fitness training was second to none, which was helped by a good, private international school. The coaches and staff made me feel as if I were a part of their family, so much so that 2 years after I graduated as the valedictorian of my class, I felt the urge to return to ASC as a coach.
This year, we celebrate 20 years in Barcelona, 6 in USA and 3 in China. Reaching these milestones made me think of all the ways my team has contributed to Academia Sanchez Casal’s success. Thanks to them, Academia Sanchez-Casal and our tennis teaching system have become recognized everywhere we go. To commemorate, I want to share a series of stories about the people who have helped us get to where we are today.
ASC player Ramkumar Ramanathan is one to watch at the Miami Open 2018. Last year the Indian player jumped 143 spots in the Singles ranking and is now ranked world N135. Also, worth mentioning is his victory over world N6 Dominic Thiem at the Antalya Open in June 2017 (where he reached the quarterfinals), his first main draw qualification of a Masters 1000 tournament at Cincinnati Masters in August 2017, or his role as a N1 player at the India Davis Cup Team. However, the 23-year old player is now facing one of his long time aspired career goals: to compete in the Miami Open.
The 2018 season has started with a somewhat disheartening array of injuries among the top players. Murray has not been able to play since sustaining a hip injury at Wimbledon. Djokovic has had continued problems with his elbow in Australia, after having already spent a number of months off the courts. Rafa Nadal was forced to retire from the Australian Open after battling muscular problems during a match against Cilic. And they aren’t the only ones. During 2017, Wawrinka, Nishikori and Raonic have also suffered from different injuries. A question to consider is, are injuries inevitable for professional tennis players?
December is an exciting and active time for junior tennis players all around the globe. The Academia Sanchez-Casal is proud to join the ranks of Eddie Herr, Little Mo and The Orangebowl by introducing the brand new Sanchez-Casal International Winter Junior Cup, which will take place December 7-10, 2017 in beautiful Naples, Florida.
Maturity and consistency are both ingredients that usually lead to success, although of course sport has another ingredient, which is competition, and with competition, anything can happen. This season has been especially important to the ATP player, Gilles Müller, who is 34 years old and is excelling thanks to some great recent results.
Everything that happens has a reason: some people call it ‘destiny’, others ‘energy’, some people call it ‘luck’, and others, ‘bad luck’. I think I’m fortunate to live life how I choose. I carry with me my principles and values, and I am that way partly thanks to my parents, thanks to the education they provided me, some key people that became role models in my life but mainly thanks to tennis, which shaped my character and made me resilient to adversity.
Mom, you know this year I made loads of effort, and got really good marks at school – even in Math, which you know I find really difficult! My teachers are really proud of me. I want to ask you if this summer, apart from spending time with you and my friends, I can do something special and go somewhere new. A place where I can make new friends from around the world, play tennis (which I love!) and practice my English – you’re always saying how important that is!