We went offline for almost two weeks for a quite important reason – a complete restart of Sashka’s tennis career. She has relocated to another city & club. She replaced her coach & training system. Finally, she is trying to change her mental stance to really believe that the hardest part of her life is behind her, and “the sky is clear” now, at least for several monthes.
That relocation was probably the most challenging part of the story – I mean, PHYSICALLY. We transported Sashka’s stuff, made up her new room from the scratch, together learnt a new district (where a shop is, bakery is, hairdresser is etc.).
Initially we suggested to manage everything within 2-3 days, but instead we spent whole 10 days to let Sashka enter her new room. During those days we changed several rented apartments, and for the most of time we did not have a single piece of changing clothes – as all our luggage was packed & sealed in the boxes prepared for unpacking in a renovated room! Thanks to God (and Airbnb) we had washing machines in every apartment we rent.
NEW COACH & CLUB
Sashka has already started to work with a new coach. He is an experienced pro coach with a pretty wide background on ITF Women & WTA tour. We are now in a “trial mode” for a week or so. If things continue to go smooth (this means we like a coach & coach likes us & we will agree on finances), we will probably cooperate with him at least for this season.
This is a matter of finances, again. It is not cheap. But we secured something for several monthes… and we’ll see what to do next.
We also bought a tennis ball machine for Sashka (using partly funds collected through her IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign). It’s Lobster Grand Five LE, one of the best machines in its class (portable battery devices). Sashka used it for a couple of practices – not instead of coach, but as a self-practice tool after coached session – and we are highly satisfied with what we currently have. This machine is quite precise & flexible, on high speeds & frequencies it is more than enough for a junior pro female player. It has 12 pre-programmed drills as well as an opportunity to program your own drills.
We will record & broadcast some drills with this machine. I am sure that a (good) ball machine can be useful not only for an amateur, but for a competitive junior player as well.
THE SAME TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
The only thing which has not been changed much for these two weeks is Sashka’s tournament schedule. She is going to play ITF Juniors Grade 1 tournament in Vrsar, Croatia (it is more known to be played in Umag, but they changed a venue this year). This is a very strong juniors event with 14 players from Top-100 ranking list in the main draw. Sashka is currently in the quali, but there is a good chance she will get a wild card to MD.
Then we will go to Tucepi, Croatia, with an attempt to start Sashka’s female tennis career. A $15k tournament will take place in the beginning of April. Sashka hopes to get a place in quali in some way.
The last tournament in March-April is ITF Juniors Grade 2 in Florence, Italy. This event seems to be even more tough than Vrsar (despite lower category), so we are praying to get in quali with Sashka’s current ranking.
Within 3 days we are sending out Sashka’s gifts & souvenirs (t-shirts, caps etc.) to those contributors of her first crowdfunding campaign who opted to get it. Hope you will like it!
We will try to update this blog frequently from now. Also, expect a live broadcast of Sashka’s practice in the nearest days.
Play tennis, watch tennis, love tennis!