Here is an official travelling schedule for Sashka’s September-November “Big Tennis Trip 2017” – come to meet Sashka & play street tennis together, in your city, soon!
Sashka’s letter to tennis clubs of Slovenia, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France & Switzerland09.08.2017
Dear tennis friends,
Dear players, coaches, captains & managers of tennis clubs & teams,
My name is Oleksandra Oliynykova. I am a refugee & junior tennis player.
Honestly speaking, I am the least probable person to become a pro tennis player.
My family does not have enough money to support my practices & tournament travels though they work hard to supply me with necessary basics (racquets, balls, shoes etc.).
I am a refugee, a person without citizenship (full story here) – so I can’t count on big help of domestic tennis federation or local sponsors.
Finally, I do not have an outstanding, phenomenal talent – all my wins & achievements happened because of hard work and full devotion, day after day.
The only thing I definitely have with me all the time through is my belief & desire to become a tennis player – despite all obstacles.
That’s why I am departing to the “Big Tennis Trip 2017” – to play street tennis on central squares of 50 European cities, promote tennis among wider public (including those people who can’t access it now) and support my crowdfunding campaign.
Yes, we are trying to do this again! This time, we take more timeframe to prepare ourselves and make this experience even more exciting for us & interesting to follow for our friends & readers (we will blog, tweet, youtube & live-broadcast every single day of our trip!).
So what is the “Big Tennis Trip”? For 2 months, day by day, Oleksandra (accompanied by her coach Mate) is going to play street tennis on central squares of European cities. One day – one city (with several days off, for sure)! So everybody can join Sashka and play a couple of points vs. her – no need to go to a tennis club!
Why are we doing this? How exactly is it going to look like? What cities do we plan to visit? How can you participate in this breathtaking event organisation? Why do we think this trip is REALLY important not only for Sashka, but for many people around the world? Read 7 Q&As below (and do not forget to ask more questions if you have them).
This week brought to Sashka a lot of new experiences: gradually she becomes familiar with the best European junior tennis tournaments (outside Grand Slams, of course). One of such events is ITF Juniors Grade 1 tournament in Offenbach, Germany – a 25-years tradition tourney with a lot of future tennis stars earning their ITF Juniors points & titles here.
In the day of qualification matches sign-in, players, coaches & parents watched the Women’s Roland Garros final on the big screen TV at the lobby of the host tennis club. The portrait of that match hero, Jelena Ostapenko, was on the stand dedicated to the tournament history: in 2012 she played quarterfinal singles & final doubles here in Offenbach! Nearby we also found teenage photos of Pablo Carreno Busta, Ana Konjuh and many others.
I am writing this post, sitting on the open terrace of Santa Croce Tennis Club – the legendary place of European junior tennis. Martina Hingis & Victoria Azarenka, Gustavo Kuerten & Andy Murray, Ana Ivanovic & Amelie Mauresmo played here while being juniors. Though the tournament itself is over for Sashka – she lost yesterday in the final round of qualifications – we both are very happy to be here. Below I want to tell you what we experienced, saw & felt in these past 3 days.
We are going home from Bavaria region of Germany, with disappointing results and a long to-do list. Now it is obvious that Sashka’s current ranking position is “ahead of herself”. Two first-round losses are deserved; it is just a confirmation of a big miracle she made in the middle of 2016 jumping to 300-400th positions in ITF Juniors race. Her REAL junior ranking is probably around 1000th. It was NOT a bad luck or wrong day – both in Hamburg and Cadolzburg Sashka lost because her quality & mental stance was not enough to win.
What a day! What matches Sashka has played & won!
…Hmmm, well, actually there are a lot of things for the team (not for Sashka – she is definitely a hero of the day!) NOT to be proud of.
First of well, her fitness & conditioning is a “trouble zone”. She has at least 5-7 kg overweight. She lacks “continouos power”. Her diet is still unregulated.
Please do not advice us to “find a good nutritionist”. We anyway do not have extra money for that :). But some books or tutorials will be greatly welcomed – we are doing this stuff by ourselves now (me & Sashka), reading, learning & implementing.
Sashka is in Hamburg, she won her first quali match today, and we now have a short rest before scheduled walking to downtown to see some interesting places of Hamburg. Courts are completely full today (10 rounds should be played – I think, it will last till the midnight!), but we want to make some “refreshing” conditioning in the evening. Read below what else interesting we had for these 2 days.
Day # 3 started extremely early – at 5:40 a.m.! The tournament venue had 3 courts only. The matches scheduled to start at 8 a.m., so the only available time for practicing & warming-up is from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m (last half an hour reserved for the first match players). If I say that Sashka is an early bird, it won’t be true. So this wake up was really, really hard to complete. Soon or late, but at 6:30 we sat in the taxi driving us to the venue…