After a five-day break, we are online again with latest Sashka news. We have something to tell about: in the nearest weeks Sashka will change a coach, club & location. You never know whether any changes are ultimately for good, but in our situation the change itself is something positive, as it may bring an exit from the dead end.
We also want to thank Sara Errani, the only WTA/ATP player who made a material support for Sashka.
The disappointing loss in the final round of quali in Slovakia (a loss was not a problem itself; the problem is how chanceless Sashka looked like vs. a player of her ranking range) gave us a lot of food for thinking.
At all, it was quite predictable: if you are not completely ready, you can not compete on ITF Juniors Grade 2 & higher. Every participant there is a player with skills & ambitions. It is very hard to achieve stable results basing on your enthusiasm & talent only. You must work hard for many days, many hours daily, without interruptions & long time-outs.
It’s a (junior) pro tennis, baby :). There is no space for lyrics here. Work, sweat and get pain for your privilege to play & win.
For reasons our readers know from the previous posts, it is very hard for Sashka to keep rising further as a player in a small town where we live now.
Sashka is happy to work with an excellent coach & friend Juraj Dusparic, in a place full of tennis courts, nice beaches and soft climate – where you can play outdoor even in winter.
But the wider view brings a different picture: while Sashka’s current hometown is a heaven for recreational tennis, it is a complete dead end for a competitive one. There is no junior tournaments here; no other girls playing competitive tennis (except Tereza, but she is an adult WTA player, not a junior); no options to practice in a group to feel an internal competition…
That’s why we gladly accepted & welcomed big changes coming into Sashka’s tennis process. From the middle of February (in a month or so) Sashka will start to practice & play in another (bigger) city, with a new club & coach. She will also start to work under a coaching plan & program customized specially for her. While it will take time to see changes, we hope her to play ITF Juniors Grade 2 & 1 Italian series (Florence, Salsomaggiore Terme, Prato & Santa Croce) in April-May 2017 and make first evaluations there.
We modified Sashka’s tournament plan for the transition period. Particularly, we skipped tournaments in Bosnia this & next week, but added National Championships of Croatia U16 next week.
Sashka & me are very thankful to her current coach. Juraj actually made MUCH MORE than he could; and he is still doing, working with Sashka during this transition process & helping us to deal the best possible conditions for Sashka’s development in future. Personally, I feel that it’s not the end of our cooperation; it is just a pause caused by external challenges.
We will keep you informed on Sashka news. Stay tuned :).
We would like to say “Thank you!” to Sara Errani, a great WTA player & human with a big heart. Sara is the only WTA/ATP player who provided a material support for Sashka.
Sashka is currently playing with rackets & strings provided by Sara Errani, weared in t-shirts & training suits sent by Sara. That’s a valuable support for the family… but the more important, it is an incredible impulse for Sashka, who is endorsed by a highest-grade pro!
Thank you, Sara! Thank you so much!
I also would like to thank our contributors of this week: Pavitra G. and A.L (opting to stay anonymous). #TeamSashka, you are incredibly awesome – as always!
I am all the time trying to be positive, but there is one thing I can not understand. In 2015 Sashka spent several months in GTG Academy in Stockholm.
She was a “commercial customer” – no sponsorship in any way – and we paid our bills as that time we were able to do this.
But she was also a part of their junior team, practiced, travelled & lived under one roof with the team, felt herself a part of the team… A lot of her achievements that time are connected with GTG and made within their system.
When Sashka’s situation became tough, we contacted them. We did not ask for a material support or free practicing. We did not aim to be a part of their charity program. All we asked them for is a social media endorsement. To tweet “Our alumni is in difficult situation; pls check out her website and support if you want” was not a big deal, isn’t it?
They never respond. Even a negative answer would be an answer. But they opted to ignore. Why so? Is it because we can’t pay anymore? Or because Sashka is currently a kind of loser, and they are FOR WINNERS ONLY? This is what I can’t understand…
Finally, I would like to announce several small updates of this blog.
First, we placed some ad banners across the blog. You will find them on top of every page, in a right column, and at the end of the blog post.
While it is not something big, and every banner can bring us a few dollars per month, even this amount can be very valuable. This summer, before a semi-final match of ITF Juniors Grade 4 in Kranj, Slovenia, Sashka did not have 10 EUR to re-string her racket, so she went to the match with two ready rackets only… Well, if you find interesting what is promoted on those banners – you know what to do :).
Second, we added a referral link to Airbnb. You will find it in the right column of the blog, inside “Subscribe & Follow” section. If you register on Airbnb by that link, you will get 27 EUR bonus on your first trip… and Sashka will get that bonus too! Three to five registrations will allow Sashka to cover a tournament accomodation… and you SPEND LESS for your own travel while helping her!
That’s all for today! Enjoy Australian Open matches & have a nice week :).
You can support Sashka’s tennis travels. A small contribution to her PayPal account firstname.lastname@example.org or Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign will be greatly appreciated. See more options to help Sashka here.