Getting to know… Barbara Haas

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Photo credit : @Tennisandco

Born in Steyr, Barbara Haas is probably the most talented and promising Austrian tennis player. Currently 168th at the WTA ranking, she already won 10 singles titles on the ITF tour, including 2 this season in Naples and Port Pirie, and she just made her Grand Slam debut at Roland Garros. And for sure, there is a lot more to come for this still pretty young and talented player, because Barbara Haas definitely has the great state of mind to reach her goals and achieve some great success in the tennis world. So there is no doubt that you will hear more and more about her in the upcoming months and years… And whereas she is preparing the rest of her season, Barbara Haas has very nicely accepted to take a bit of her time to answer my questions to allow you to get to know her a bit more… 🙂

First of all, how did you get into tennis ?
My sister played tennis and therefore I also wanted to play.

How would you describe your playing style ? What are your strengths, and which compartment(s) of your game do you think you still need to improve the most ?
I would say constant and heavy from the baseline. I want to improve my aggressive game, getting in to the court, whenever I have the chance. And I would like to improve my serve too.

You already won two 25 000$ ITF titles this season, and just reached your career high singles ranking, I guess you’re pretty happy about that 🙂 How do you judge the first part of your season ?
I am happy about my first part of the season, the titles are great of course and also my grand slam debut at French Open went really well. So I am happy with that for now, but I’m always trying to improve my game, rather than just looking on Read more…

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Getting to know… Rebecca Sramkova

Photo credit : Rebecca Sramkova's personnal archives

Photo credit : Rebecca Sramkova’s personnal archives

Born in Bratislava in Slovakia, Rebecca Šramkova, who already reached two semi-finals on the ITF tour this season, has very nicely taken some of her time to answer some of my questions. The 19-years-old Slovak is probably one of the most promising player of her country and this interview is a good opportunity to get to know a bit more this very talented and really nice girl. Almost every week passed on the tour Rebecca Šramkova is improving, so there is no doubt that you will hear more and more about her in the upcoming months and years…

First of all, how did you get into tennis ?
Actually I have problems with my eyes, that’s why and how I started to play tennis when I was six. It was good for me because of focus and being pointed on balls, but after a short time it started to be a passion for me.

How would you describe your playing style and what are your strengths ?
I play fast, with a good serve and drive volleys sometimes.

And in which compartment(s) of your game do you think you still need to improve the most ?
I think I mainly need to improve my foot work and my return.

Read more…

A la découverte de… Lou Brouleau

Photos fournies par Lou Brouleau

Photos fournies par Lou Brouleau

Lou Brouleau, 20 ans, est sans doute l’une des joueuses Françaises les plus prometteuses. La jeune et talentueuse joueuse originaire de Poitiers, qui participera au tournoi ITF 25 000 $ à Grenoble dans quelques jours, a très gentiment accepté de prendre quelques minutes de son temps pour répondre à quelques-unes de mes questions afin de vous permettre d’apprendre à la connaître un peu mieux… Lou Brouleau, qui a déjà remporté 7 titres ITF en simple et 4 en double occupe actuellement le 344ème rang au classement WTA, et le 18ème au classement national. Déterminée et en progression constante, nul doute que vous allez entendre parler de plus en plus de Lou dans les mois et les années à venir…

Tout d’abord, comment es-tu arrivée dans le tennis ?
Mon frère jouait au tennis. On a 6 ans d’écart, du coup je l’ai beaucoup accompagné quand j’étais petite et puis j’ai voulu faire pareil!

Comment décrirais-tu ton style de jeu, quelles sont tes forces, et quel(s) compartiment(s) de ton jeu penses-tu devoir encore le plus améliorer ?
Je suis plutôt une joueuse solide du fond de court capable de prendre la balle tôt et de prendre du temps à mes adversaires. Il y a forcément plein de choses Lire la suite

Ma vie sur le circuit en tant que femme de joueur, par Kelsey Anderson

Crédit photo : @KelseyOAnderson

Crédit photo : @KelseyOAnderson

Nouvel épisode dans ma série d’interviews permettant de découvrir le travail et les personnes qui évoluent autour des joueurs et joueuses de tennis sur les circuits WTA et ATP. Après le métier de PR manager, celui d’arbitre de chaise, ou encore celui de kiné j’ai décidé pour ce nouvel article de m’intéresser à quelque chose d’un peu différent, quelque chose qui n’est pas vraiment un travail mais qui a à coup sûr un rôle crucial sur le succès et la vie d’un athlète, les partenaires. Souvent oubliés, les femmes, maris, petites amies ou petits copains n’ont pas vraiment une vie conventionnelle. Beaucoup d’entre eux ne peuvent pas voyager avec leur bien aimé toute l’année et doivent vivre une relation à longue distance, d’autres ont fait un choix et ont décidé de faire tout leur possible pour aider leurs partenaires à atteindre leurs objectifs et leurs rêves, et aujourd’hui c’est de ces derniers dont il va être question. Et pour en savoir un peu plus à propos de ce que cela implique d’être une femme de joueur sur le circuit je voudrais chaleureusement remercier Kelsey Anderson qui a accepté de prendre un peu de son temps pour répondre à mes questions. Comme son nom l’indique, Kelsey est la femme de Kevin Anderson (n°12 au classement ATP), et depuis quelques années elle est un membre à part entière de l’équipe de son mari et voyage ainsi avec lui toute l’année. Et contrairement à ce que plusieurs personnes pensent, être une femme de joueurs ne se résume pas à faire du shopping ou à regarder son mari jouer depuis les meilleures places. Comme le révèle Kelsey, cela implique bien plus de choses, et quelques fois cela est même un peu difficile… Si vous voulez en savoir plus à propos de la vie de Kelsey sur le circuit, n’hésitez pas à consulter son blog pour le site The Changeover ou son compte Twitter !

Tout d’abord, beaucoup de gens se demandent à quoi ressemble une journée classique dans ta vie ? J’ai lu sur ton blog que, en fait, il n’y a pas vraiment de journée typique, exact ?
Le programme de notre équipe change beaucoup d’une journée à l’autre et d’une semaine à l’autre. Habituellement nous nous rassemblons la veille et écrivons le programme pour les jours à venir. Vous devez être assez flexible parce qu’avec la nature du tennis et les voyages, les imprévus se produisent toujours. C’est impossible de prévoir quoique ce soit, nous faisons simplement de notre mieux.
La journée classique de Kevin implique un peu de travail sur le court, du travail physique (mais les jours de match normalement), et le travail de récupération. Nous essayons de faire tout le reste des choses qui ont besoin d’être faites autour de ce programme.

Quels sont les difficultés et les bienfaits de votre situation ? Et est-ce que cela vous aide d’être une ancienne athlète vous-même ?
Je pense définitivement qu’avoir pratiqué un sport moi-même m’a aidé à comprendre le niveau d’engagement de Kevin dans le tennis. Je pense que ma propre expérience en tant que joueuse de golf m’a aidée à savoir à quoi ressemble le Lire la suite

My life as a tour wife, by Kelsey Anderson

Crédit photo : @KelseyOAnderson

Crédit photo : @KelseyOAnderson

New episode in my series of interviews to discover the job and the people who are working around the professional tennis players on the WTA and ATP world tours. After the jobs of PR manager, coach, or physiotherapist I decided to focus on something a little bit different, something that is not really a job but certainly has a crucial role on the success and life of an athlete, partners. Often forgotten, the wives, husbands, girlfriends or boyfriends haven’t a really conventional life. Many of them can’t travel with their beloved one all the year and have to live a long distance relationship, some others have made a choice and have decided to do everything they can to help theirs partners to reach their goals and achieve their dreams, and today we will have a look on these latter. And to know a little bit more about what is it like to be a wife on the tour I would like to warmly thank Kelsey Anderson who accepted to take a bit of her time to answer my questions. As her name indicates, Kelsey is Kevin Anderson’s (ATP world n° 12) wife, and since few years she is part of her husband’s team and thus travel with him all the year. And contrary to what several people think, being a tour wife is not just going shopping and watching your loved one from the best seat. As Kelsey reveals, there is a lot more to do, and sometimes it’s a little bit challenging… If you want to know more about Kelsey’s life on the tour, feel free to follow her blog on The Changeover or her Twitter account!

First of all, a lot of people are wondering what looks like an average day in your life ? I read on your blog that, actually, there is no real typical day, right ?
Our team’s schedule changes a lot from day to day and week to week. We usually sit down the night before and write the schedule for the following day. You have to be flexible because with the nature of tennis and travel unforeseen circumstances always arise. It is impossible to plan for everything, we just do our best and go from there.
Kevin’s typical day involves some sort of on-court tennis work, fitness or strength training (but not usually on match days), and rehabilitation work. We try to fill everything else that needs to be accomplished in around this tennis schedule first.

What are the challenges and the rewards of your situation ? And does it help to be a former athlete yourself ?
I definitely believe playing a sport myself has helped me to understand Kevin’s level of commitment to tennis. I think my own experience playing golf has helped me to recognize what a long road it has been to arrive at this level of Read more…

Barbora Stefkova : « I want much more »

Crédit photo : Jiří Vojzola

Crédit photo : Jiří Vojzola

When I had the chance to ask some questions to Barbora Stefkova one year ago, the Czech girl was 450th on the WTA ranking. One year later, the talented player made a great step forward, despite two injuries and a graduation she is now into the WTA top 300. A great step, but Barbora Stefkova wants more. “Work hard, dream big”, that could be Barbora Stefkova’s motto. After she won her first 25 000 $ on the ITF tour this year, the player from Olomouc knows she can do better. And for sure, there is a lot more to come for the still pretty young and talented Czech player because she definitely has the great state of mind to reach her goals and achieve some great success in the tennis world. In this little interview Barbora Stefkova talks about her injuries, her improvements, what looks like a typical day in her life and some more things 🙂 French version

First of all, how do you judge your 2015 season so far ? You just reached the highest singles ranking of your career, so I guess you are pretty happy…
Well, I had two injuries at the beginning of the year, then my graduation in school, so I think this season is a little bit better than I expected. I already won my first 25 000$ ITF tournament and reached the WTA top 300, so I am very motivated for the upcoming work. I’m happy that I reached top 300, but I want much more. I would like to be as high on the ranking as I could at the end of this season.

In which compartment(s) of your game do you think you have the most improved lately ?
I think my serve improved, but I am still working on it. Also now I know how to play better tactically.

You won your first match on the WTA tour this year 🙂 what’s the biggest difference(s) you have seen between WTA and ITF tournaments ?
The organisation for sure, and also the opponents. On WTA tournaments you play only top players. You don´t have any Read more…

Interview with… Antonia Lottner

Crédit photo : Antonia Lottner Facebook

Crédit photo : Antonia Lottner Facebook

Antonia Lottner is one of the numerous talented German players on the WTA tour. The player from Düsseldorf, who will play the ITF tournament in Hechingen from Monday, has very kindly accepted to take some of her time to answer my questions. After a tough period for her due to a foot injury, Antonia Lottner is now back at her best level and is having a good 2015 season so far with among others a title in Stuttgart-Stammheim and a final in Altenkirchen. And with the improvements made by the young player on her game as on her mental alongside her coach Gerald Mild, a lot of reasons to be optimistic for the rest of the year. Apart from her improvements, Antonia Lottner also talks here about her friendship with the Swiss player Belinda Bencic, her admiration for Roger Federer, what looks like a typical day of her life on the tour, and many other things, especially her tastes 🙂 French version

First of all, how do you judge the first part of your 2015 season ?
2015 started pretty well for me. I won the first tournament of the year, so it was a great start and apart from a few losses, I had a pretty good first part.

You recently switched from Prince to Wilson, did this change help you with your game ?
I think we can’t say that I played better because of a racket change. I was very successful with Prince as well and I just needed a change, and for me it was also really nice to go back to Wilson because I started as a little kid with Wilson.

In which compartment(s) of your game do you think you have the most improved lately ? And which compartment(s) do you think you still need to improve ?
For sure I improved my whole game. We worked a lot on the ground strokes. I got better in the Rallies and got more consistent. And I guess that mentally I made a big step forward. I still need to improve all my shots and for sure on Read more…

Questions to Julia Goerges

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Crédit photo : Creative commons

She is one of the numerous talented German players on the WTA tour, will be part of the Fed Cup semifinals this weekend, her name is Julia Goerges, and she has very kindly accepted to take some of her time to answer some of my questions 🙂 After two difficult seasons in 2013 and 2014, the player from Bad Oldesloe is back to a very good level in this new season and can have some good expectations for the upcoming tournaments. Indeed, The German always had great results on clay courts with particularly 2 titles in Bad Gastein and Stuttgart, plus a mixed doubles final at Roland Garros in Paris. And the clay season will start this weekend with the Fed Cup tie between Germany and Russia for Julia Goerges who believes that Germany can win this competition one day. Julia Goerges also talks here about her connected Babolat racket, what a typical day of her life on the tour looks like, and many other things like the possibility to practice biathlon one day 😉

First of all, how do you judge the first part of your season ?
The first part of the season was very solid and I had some good results, which brought me into a good position for the rest of the season.

The German Fed Cup team made it to the final last year and is now already in the semifinal this year… I guess you all have the secret goal to go one step further this year and complete the “Fed Cup mission” ?
Our goal is of course to win the Fed Cup one day. But we don’t put pressure on our team. We just try to do our best, and we have a very strong team, so there is a good chance to win the Fed Cup one day.

What looks like a typical day in Julia Goerges’s life on the WTA tour ?
There is nothing special happening 😉 If it’s a match day I am going to have a warm up with my coach before my match, doing some exercises with my fitness coach and physio, so then I am ready to go on the court. After the match I am going to Read more…

A la découverte du métier de… coach de tennis, avec Jérôme Adamec

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Crédit photo : @jeromeadamec

Nouvel épisode dans ma série d’interviews permettant de découvrir le travail des personnes qui évoluent autour des joueurs et joueuses de tennis sur les circuits WTA et ATP. Après le métier de PR manager, celui d’arbitre de chaise, ou encore celui de kinésithérapeute j’ai décidé pour ce nouvel article de m’intéresser au métier d’entraineur. Souvent oubliées et dans l’ombre de leur joueurs et joueuses, ces personnes effectuent pourtant un travail aussi passionnant qu’important pour aider les athlètes à atteindre leur plein potentiel et délivrer des performances optimales. Et pour en savoir plus sur le métier de coach, je tiens à remercier très chaleureusement Jérôme Adamec d’avoir pris le temps de répondre à mes questions afin de vous faire découvrir son métier. Jérôme Adamec est notamment le coach de Barbora Strycova qui a fait un bond de près de 200 places sous sa houlette pour atteindre le meilleur classement de sa carrière avec une 20ème place à la WTA. Et grâce à lui j’espère que vous allez en apprendre un peu plus sur un métier pas si rêvé que cela 🙂

Bonjour Jérôme, tout d’abord je suppose qu’il y a plusieurs façons de devenir coach de tennis, mais y-a-t-il quelques diplômes ou qualifications clés ?
J´ai un BE (ndlr : Brevet d’Etat) tennis français et une licence STAPS (ndlr : Sciences et techniques des activités physiques et sportives) mais aucun diplôme n´est requis pour être coach de tennis.

Vous voyagez beaucoup, combien de temps passez-vous loin de chez vous ? Et le coach a-t-il son mot à dire lorsque le joueur ou la joueuse établit son calendrier ?
Beaucoup trop 🙂 De l´ordre de 30 semaines à l´année.
Oui! bien sûr, le coach a son mot à dire. En tout cas, dans notre relation avec Barbora on discute régulièrement du planning et prenons les Lire la suite

Getting to know the job of… tennis coach, with Jerome Adamec

jerome-adamec-tennis-coach-barbora-strycova-majorca-interview

Crédit photo : @jeromeadamec

New episode in my series of interviews to discover the job of people who are working around the professional tennis players on the WTA and ATP world tours. After the jobs of PR manager, ball kids, or physiotherapist I decided to focus on the profession of tennis coach. Often forgotten, these people are making an exciting and really important work behind the scenes to help athletes to reach their full potential and achieve optimal performances. And to learn more about the profession of tennis coach, I would like to express my warmest thanks to Jérôme Adamec to have taken the time to answer my questions to let you discover his job. Jérôme Adamec has coached several players, including Barbora Strycova who jump up from approximately 200 place under his guidance to reach the best ranking of her career with a 20th spot at the WTA ranking. And thanks to him, I hope you will learn a bit more about a job which is not always a dream job 🙂

Hello Jerome, first of all, I guess there is many ways to become tennis coach, but is there some key qualifications ?
I have a French tennis BE (editor’s note: Brevet d’Etat) and a STAPS (editor’s note: Science and technique of physical activities and sports) degree, but no specific certificate is required to be a tennis coach.

You travel a lot, how many time are you away from home ? And does the coach has his word to say when the player make his own schedule ?
Too many 🙂 Approximately 30 weeks per year.
Yes! Of course, the coach has his word to say. At least, in our collaboration with Barbora we regularly talk about the schedule and take Read more…