Crushing The Italians In The Fed Cup, Rebecca Sramkova Is A Star In The Making - UBITENNIS
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Crushing The Italians In The Fed Cup, Rebecca Sramkova Is A Star In The Making




Rebecca Sramkova (

Written by Andrei Bucko

It is said Rebecca Sramkova serves stronger than any other female player in Slovakian tennis history with speeds of approximately 200KM. Within the past 12 months she has risen over 200 places in the world rankings as she closes in on the top 100.


The most unique fact about the 20-year-old is that all of her achievements have been guided solely by her father and without any cooperation with the Slovakian tennis federation. Her father even built courts for her to practice on, including one on grass! He believes the federation doesn’t help young players and some aged between 22-23 are still playing ITF events, standing 2-3 meters behind the baseline and getting the ball over the net. He wants his daughter to dominate, attack, be aggressive and create the points. But he doesn’t push, he wants her to understand what it takes to be a great player.

Sramkova is a member of the Empire Tennis Club Academy Trnava in Slovakia. It is the same place where rising star is Daria Kasatkina practices with her coach Vladimir Platenik, who use to mentor Dominika Cibulkova. The two players practice together at the venue, but Sramkova is no Cibulkova. Slovakia has never had a harder serving woman in tennis with speeds between 190-200 KM. Last year at the Wimbledon Championships, Cibulkova averaged 160KM.

She started to play tennis at the age of 6 with her father, who was a recreational player. Her father paid for her first practice session, which started her passion. She was always dreaming about having a professional career and believed in herself.

“As a child you always lose some precious time playing with peers or going out, but tennis gave me more than other my friends have. I learnt much more and I gained more than lost,” she said. “I love travelling, meeting new people, new experiences.”

Her first idol was Serena Williams and still is, from the men’s tour it is Roger Federer. She admires Serena’s power, her way of play, professionalism and patience. Sramkova doesn’t want to copy the world No.1, but like Williams her serve is the most important shot. Rebecca wants to be Rebecca, not a copycat, but she likes Serena style. She can see a lot of potential to improve her dangerous service, with more speed and more effect (placing, higher percentage, spin). She likes hitting hard and risking going for her shots.

She always wanted to skip junior tournaments and compete with women. After the Roland Garros 2014 junior quarterfinal, she decided with her father to give up juniors and play in pro events. She didn’t consider the junior competition important. You can’t compare the power, physicality and experience. Juniors play the ball across the net and try to get all back. Meanwhile, professionals dictate the game, combine, prepare the point and think more on the court. This is why it is harder today to break through from juniors. You also need much better fitness preparation to last longer otherwise you will not survive the challenges, mental or physical.

Fed Cup breakthrough

During Slovakia’s Fed Cup tie against Italy, she told the captain before the tie that it could be won without Cibulkova and she can beat both Errani and Schiavone with an attacking style. She was watching and following the Italian players in Melbourne and she said that they don’t play very fast. Sramkova was proven right as she defeated Errani 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, and Schiavone 6-2, 6-4.

Last month at the Australian Open Sramkova qualified for the first time for the Grand Slam main draw, winning 3 matches in Melbourne. Now she is looking to play in bigger tournaments against higher ranked players.

Embarking on the main stage of the WTA Tour is far from straightforward, but Sramkova is receiving valuable advice from compatriot Daniela Hantuchova. Hantuchova was an integral part of Slovakia’s winning spirit with her experience and advice. Daniela and Jeanette Husarova, the Fed Cup coach, are two team members of the 2002 Slovak Fed Cup squad, who won the trophy. Hantuchova’s success against Errani inspired Sramkova to attack Schiavone. She has also asked Daniela for advice about how to organize a season calendar at her age when climbing the ranks to break through.

Sramkova doesn’t have a coach, her father Jozef coordinates her preparation and she is hitting with her  sparring partners. As a member of the Trnava Academy she likes training there because she can play with intensity and against players like Kasatkina, Svitolina and Safarova. But she also hits at home in Bratislava.

Her tennis career is financed by her father and she doesn’t have an agreement with the Slovak Tennis Federation, except for the Fed Cup. She collected her biggest ever cheque advancing to Australian Open main draw this year – 50,000 Australian dollars.

The route to where she is now was tough. Her father was strict, didn’t let her go clubbing, go out, but she is happy and grateful for that, she understands the importance of professionalism. Her dream was to play in the Fed Cup, even more than a Grand Slam tournament, because she attended some ties in Bratislava and always wanted to represent her country. After her successful week at the Australian Open she knew she would be nominated for the recent tie.

Now that she has played the Fed Cup and hopefully established herself in the team, she wants to climb in WTA ranking as well and play Grand Slams main draws. Her best friend on tour is the other Slovak tennis player Natalia Vajdova, daughter of Marian Vajda, Novak Djokovic coach.

Sramkova is currently ranked 118th in the world and has won five titles the ITF Tour.


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Kontaveit upsets Bianca Andreescu in Eastbourne

Anett Kontaveit knocked Bianca Andreescu out of Eastbourne.




Anett Kontaveit (@ribella96 - Twitter)

The Estonian beat the Canadian on Center Court in straight sets in an hour and six minutes.


Anett Kontaveit only needed 66 minutes on Center Court to dispatch the world number seven and the third seed at the tournament Bianca Andreescu 6-3, 6-3 firing 16 winners while the Canadian hit 28 unforced errors.

“I thought I played a really good match today and I was consistent throughout the whole match and I feel like I kept my level up and played some good tennis”.

It was the world number 27 with the aggressive start earning the first breakpoint of the match in the opening game with a stunning forehand winner and on the following point ripped a forehand return winner to take a 1-0 lead.

The Canadian was keen to bounce back and earned her first breakpoint the following game with a backhand winner up the line and broke right back to go back on serve.

The Talinn, Estonia native once again responded by breaking right back and this time was able to consolidate the break until 3-2 when once again the Toronto native broke again to level the first set at 3-3.

Once again the Estonian broke Andreescu serve to take another lead and at 5-3 had two set points set up by a powerful backhand winner and took the first set 6-3 in 31 minutes.

The second set started with both players holding serve for the first three games until the 25 year old earned three more breakpoints and got the first break of the set.

After that it went back on serve until 4-2 when the Canadian once again had two chances to go back on serve and she broke when the Estonian struggled with her serve.

Again the resiliency and the determination of the Estonian kept her going and she broke right back the following game and served out the match. In her post match press conference she was asked how she was able to keep bouncing back in the face of adveristy.

“I think I am a pretty good returner and she is as well so sometimes it’s difficult when the other person so consistent hitting deep returns off your serve so I just tried to stay with it especially in the second set and she never gives up so I had to keep playing and be ready for it”.

Kontaveit will now face the Swiss player Viktorija Golubic who pulled off another upset beating the number six seed and fellow Swiss player Belinda Bencic.

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PTPA Outline Vision After Appointing Executive Director And Advisory Board

The PTPA has announced a new executive director and advisory board.




(@DjokerNole - Twitter)

The Professional Tennis Players Association has outlined their vision for the future after appointing an advisory board and an executive director.


Vasek Pospisil made the announcement last night as he and Novak Djokovic look to secure a legitimate players voice at the tennis political table.

In the main core of the statement they announced the make-up of the PTPA’s backroom board, “PTPA co-founders Vasek Pospisil and Novak Djokovic have named Adam Larry executive director, enlisted Carrie Gerlach Cecil to lead Brand and Communications and appointed Bill Ackman, Michael Hirshfeld, Rebecca Macdonald, Katarina Pijetlovic and Anton Rabie to its Advisory Board,” the statement read.

“Created by the players for the players, the PTPA is an integrated association for professional tennis players. The PTPA movement is uniting and mobilizing tennis players in order to create transparency and fairness throughout decision-making in professional tennis.”

The move is an interesting one as up until now it was a mystery as to what the PTPA’s strategy was and who was involved so far with there being no idea from the ATP or WTA’s side what the PTPA was trying to achieve.

Now there is an advisory board there may be sharp movement and progress made into how the PTPA can secure more player-related decisions in Tennis and ensure that there is a level playing-field in terms of decisions affecting the players.

In the statement Vasek Pospisil, Novak Djokovic and new executive director Adam Larry all gave strong hints about the PTPA’s future vision as they look to challenge the establishment in providing change for tennis.

“With the establishment of our advisory board, our branding and communications team and the appointment of Adam Larry as executive director, we have taken one step closer to toward our goal of facilitating a fair and sustainable competitive environment for tennis players today, and for generations to come,” Pospisil said.

“We are working toward growth to help all players, not just the top 100, to make sustainable livelihoods and have their rights protected on and off the court. From top to bottom, we must use our collective voices to help players today and tomorrow,” stated world number one Novak Djokovic.

“The PTPA wants to work with all of the tennis governing bodies to inspire collective reform to better the sport,” new executive director Adam Larry claimed.

What comes next for the PTPA nobody knows but this new board means that business is expected to pick up very quickly in the latest twist in the political tennis game.

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Novak Djokovic Confirmed For Olympics But Del Potro Pulls Out After Medical Advice

The Serbian will be bidding to win gold in Tokyo later this year for the first time in his career.




This year’s Olympic tennis tournament has been given a boost after officials confirmed world No.1 Novak Djokovic will be playing at the Games.


The 19-time Grand Slam champion had been contemplating whether to play at the event or not amid ongoing COVID-19 conditions. Djokovic previously said he would reconsider travelling to Tokyo if fans weren’t allowed to attend. Since that comment, organisers have given the green light for up to 10,000 domestic fans to attend Olympic venues. Although foreign fans are banned from attending this year due to the pandemic.

Amid questions over Djokovic’s participation, the Serbian Tennis Federation has told Sportski Zurnal that he has pledged to play. It will be the fourth time the 34-year-old has represented his country in the Olympics. So far in his career, Djokovic has only won one medal which was bronze back in 2008. He also finished fourth in 2012.

“Novak has confirmed his desire to participate in the Olympic Games and we have already sent a list with his name on it to the Olympic Committee of Serbia. It will be forwarded from there,” the Tennis federation told Sportski Zurnal.

As it currently stands Djokovic is on course to achieve the calendar ‘golden slam.’ A rare achievement where a player wins all four Grand Slam titles, as well as the Olympics, within the same year. In singles competition the only person to have ever achieved this was Stefi Graf back in 1988.

“Everything is possible, and I did put myself in a good position to go for the Golden Slam,” Djokovic said after winning the French Open
“But, you know, I was in this position in 2016 as well. It ended up in a third-round loss in Wimbledon. This year we have only two weeks between the first round of Wimbledon and the finals here, which is not ideal because you go from really two completely different surfaces, trying to make that transition as smooth as possible, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“So obviously I will enjoy this win and then think about Wimbledon in a few days’ time. I don’t have an issue to say that I’m going for the title in Wimbledon. Of course, I am.”

Del Potro’s comeback delayed again

There is less positive news for Juan Martin del Potro, who was the player who beat Djokovic to win a bronze medal back in 2012. The Argentine hasn’t played a competitive match on the Tour since June 2019 due to a troublesome knee injury. Back in March the former US Open champion said playing at the Olympics again was motivating him during his rehabilitation.

However, since then progress has been slower than what Del Potro would have liked. As a result, he has been advised not to play in the event and continue his recovery.

Delpo won’t be able to play the Olympics Games. The knee rehab is going well according to the doctor’s plan but he suggested Juan Martin to go on with his rehab process and training, and skip Tokyo 2020,” a statement from Del Potro’s communication team reads.

Since 2010, the former world No.3 and two-time Olympic medallist has undergone eight surgeries.One on his right wrist, three on his left wrist and four on his knee. He has won a total of 22 ATP titles so far in his career.

The Olympic Tennis event will start on July 24th at the Ariake Coliseum.

RELATED STORY: Why Are So Many Tennis Players Skipping The Olympics?

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