A top-ranked tennis professional, although alone on court, is supported by a variety of experts: at the very least, an ATP or WTA player usually travels with a tennis coach, a physiotherapist, and a fitness trainer. However, on championship Sunday of the 2018 Delray Beach Open, 64th world-ranked German Peter Gojowczyk was supported by a much more unpredictable team: I (who had just met Peter 10 days prior to that Sunday), along with an old friend of Peter’s from 11 years prior and his friend’s daughter were the ones accompanying him. In hindsight, perhaps the unforeseen makeup of his player’s box that day was representative of his surprising run to the final that week.
In a few months, Laura López, who started tennis training in the after-school program ten years ago, will achieve her dream of attending Boston College to play college level tennis while working towards a university degree. We had time to talk to her and hear her story; a story that she is happy to share with our current student-athletes, and anyone out there who might have the same dreams.
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?
“Tennis is a mental game. Everyone is fit, everyone hits great forehands and backhands.” Novak Djokovic
What does it take to get to the same level of competition as Djokovic, Murray or Nadal?
A comprehensive training method is essential to take a player to the top of the tennis pyramid, the elite stage only a few of the thousands talented tennis players who dream to reach the top 100 attain. At Academia Sánchez-Casal, we use our own training method, the ASC 360 Performance System, which is universally effective in helping its students- athletes achieve their best tennis level. This system has been used by professional ATP tennis players such as Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov, Juan Monaco, and WTA players such as Svetlana Kuznetsova, Daniela Hantuchova, Tamira Paszek and more.
Roger Federer, at 36 years of age, has come to the end of a new season of success and is, along with Rafa Nadal, the tennis player with the highest number of Grand Slams in history. However, Roger began the season after a 2016 full of injuries, troubles and disappointments. What happened to him in 2017? What put him back up to No. 2 after finishing last year in 16th place on the ATP ranking?
I have two teenage kids who play sports. Both of them compete in the sport they chose, both of them study languages and, of course, as an absolute priority, both of them go to school and attend to their academic obligations. All of these activities will reap their benefits, not only now, but also in their future, and I am convinced that it is the best training at all levels that I can provide for them. However, it can be tough for them to keep up, as they often do not have time for anything else, and sometimes I wonder if it is all too much.
Sometimes I wonder why I engaged in this adventure of dreams in which I involved myself, my family and so many people who give everything for our students-athletes at Sánchez-Casal. Every holiday, when I review the year, I wonder if it’s worth it. 2017 was terrible, so many tough things happened: Casper, our little angel, left us; Irma visited us, leaving innumerable damages; we had to internally improve and grow in order to maintain our position.
Dani Vallverdú was at Sánchez-Casal Academy Barcelona for a period of 3 years. As a player, he used to play a role like a coach, because he used to study the opponent and matches, analyzing errors and the best way to play against of other players with a special point of view.
If I had to choose a metaphor for the university placement process, it would be a puzzle. Over the course of high school and a junior tennis career, many pieces fit together finally resulting in a complete picture.