Today we have withdrawn Sashka from ITF Juniors Grade 4 tournament in Otocec, Slovenia – KRKA Open 2016.
Sashka was #10 in acceptance list. Her chances to perform well on this tournament were quite high, counting the progress she demonstrated during latest practices. Sashka almost recovered from the leg muscle injury. She lost several kilograms, became more mobile and flexible. Her mental stance is far from perfect – but you need to take into attention that she is 15, it is a “hard age”… for any parents :).
We did not find 250 EUR to finance her trip to Otocec. No pain, no regret – it is just a reality of current days. What`s next? To play where she really can (Zagreb). To work harder. To pray… harder & harder.
It is very frustrating to admit that you – as a parent/manager – failed to do your part of the job. Well, I can honestly say: yes, I failed. What to say more?
However, from the ranking/tournament point of view this tournament would not bring much for the players. Well, a good perfomance on Grade 4 tournament can bring 40-50 points… So Sashka could immediately jump +150…200 ranking positions to sit near #250 of the world junior ranking, if she reaches a final in singles and earn something in doubles.
But this does not have any sense if you soberly think what`s next. Whether a player sits in 200s or 400s of the ITF Juniors ranking table, it is enough for entering most of Grades 2, 3, 4 tournaments in Europe… and not enough for securely entering Grand Slams, Grade A and European Grade 1s.
Furthermore, in January 2017 players born in 1998 will leave ITF Juniors ranking – so it will boost all the rest up the ranking. Oleksandra will definitely sits somewhere in 300s, and this is going to be an ideal position to start the new season.
We still have to play one more tournament in 2016 – Junior Zagreb Cup at the end of November. Sashka is going to play it as she can travel & stay in Zagreb for very cheap. But the critical question for now – what to do next year? And HOW to do this?
The ideal (jump)start would be to travel to Latin America in the beginning of the year. Around the middle of January 2017, if everything is OK with health/mental stance, we could position Sashka to the (winter) peak of her performance.
She has enough points to enter main draws (or qualifications at least) of several Grade 1s: Copa Barranquilla in Columbia (16 Jan – 22 Jan 2017), Mundial Juvenil de Tenis in Ecuador (23 Jan – 28 Jan 2017), 37th Asuncion Bowl in Paraguay (30 January – 04 February 2017) and 47th Banana Bowl (06 February – 12 February 2017) in Brazil.
In the best case scenario this tour can bring Sashka around 250-300 ranking points. It will immediately place her to the top-100 of the world juniors ranking – and open a door to junior Grand Slams in 2017!
The key question here is financing. We need about EUR 5,000 to cover the whole trip costs. It is a significant sum – but our web crowdfunding initiative (you are reading now) is just started. If you would like to be Sashka’s Latin America tour sponsor – please visit the sponsors page and contact us. You can also help much by crowdfunding a tiny sum.
If funding is not found, we will go a way we are able to. We expect our own finances to get better in the middle of 2017 (our cafe is located in touristic area; it is highly seasonal business) so a task for the beginning of 2017 will be to survive and protect/earn as many points as really possible. We will postpone “ranking business” for later, and concentrate on the game quality again.
Please leave your ideas & suggestions in “comments”.