We made this set of facts to entertain Sashka’s friends & readers. She is for sure not a star to have an autobiography yet :). But as her tennis life now is a little bit boring (practice-tournament-rest-practice-repeat), we found something interesting in her past – so meet Oleksandra a little bit closer :).
1. Oleksandra started to play tennis at the age of 5 – almost accidentally. Nobody played tennis in her family even as an amateur. Initially she attended gymnastics, being the worst student in a group, frequently being upset on that. Then her father took her away from gymnastics & googled any other sports available for a 5-years-old kid. Tennis appeared the first in search results :).
2. It is hard to define Sashka’s ethnic origin. She has Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, Greek and even Gypsy roots! Though her native language is Russian, she is NOT Russian, and she does not have any roots/connections to Russia.
3. Before her latest ITF Juniors Grade 5 title win in Stobrec, Croatia, Sashka played 8 (eight) finals on international junior level (Tennis Europe & ITF Juniors)… and 8 times lost. At the same time she won a lot of international junior doubles titles being 12-15 year old… though now she almost never plays doubles.
4. Sashka’s favorite country is Italy… Though her favorite city is Stockholm.
5. On one high-grade Tennis Europe U14 tournament in Sweden, in a match played with umpire, Sashka voluntarilty gave a very important point (on her own game ball) in the 3rd set to the opponent, which was initially (mistakenly) called by a referree to Sashka’s favor. Later, this decision led to Sashka’s loss… but she never regret on that.
6. In 2013, Sashka won a National Selection for Nike Masters International Junior Final (de-facto world tennis championships U12)… but was initially rejected to obtain visa from the U.S. Embassy in Croatia. She got a visa after her parents wrote an open letter to Mrs. Michelle Obama & U.S. Ambassador in Croatia. By the way, her parents did not get a visa, so she travelled to U.S. without proper support.
7. Sashka is really sad that her Instagram is less popular than Twitter. You can help to fix it – right now 🙂 🙂 :).
8. During one ITF Juniors tournament in Zagreb, Croatia, Sashka’s bag was stolen 5 minutes before an important doubles match. From that time, she never left her bag unattended.
9. Oleksandra is probably the only National Junior Champion of Croatia (in singles & doubles) who never has local sponsors 🙁. Sometimes ago this hurted her; now she doesn’t care.
10. When her parents asked Sashka to choose a major/occupation – in case she studies & plays tennis in/for American college – she answered: “I would like to serve in the U.S. Army or Navy” (it was said serious)! When parents explained her that with her refugee background and “citizenshipless” it is virtually important, then she said: “Ok, let it be a software engineering” :).
Have a nice weekend!