World Tennis Conference 3: The high-level training for tennis coaches is back - UBITENNIS
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World Tennis Conference 3: The high-level training for tennis coaches is back

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The third edition of the world conference for tennis coaches, organized by GPTCA and Segal Institute, with ATP as institutional sponsor, will be held from 30th of March to 2nd of April. Many big names in the world of tennis are among the speakers, including Toni Nadal, Sergi Bruguera, Brad Gilbert, Gilles Cervara, Magnus Norman and Vincenzo Santopadre. And also Ubitennis.

Published by Ubitennis.com on 21 March  2023, translated by Massimo Volpati

A well-established high-level training for tennis coaches, teachers and instructors. We are talking about the World Tennis Conference (WTC), the online conference for tennis coaches from all over the world, now at its third edition, which will be held from 30th March to 2nd April 2023. The organization is managed by GPTCA – Global Professional Tennis Coach Association, the world association of tennis coaches recognized by ATP which deals with the training and updating of tennis coaches at an international level, and by SI – Segal Institute, an organization that provides advice and services in the field of tennis. The high quality of the event is confirmed by the presence, for the third consecutive year, of ATP as institutional sponsor, which together with GPTCA certifies the conference as a professional development event for coaches.

World Tennis Conference is designed for tennis coaches from all over the world with the aim of providing, in four intense days of training in e-learning mode, the most exhaustive possible picture of the knowledge, skills and competences that a tennis coach should develop. This edition will feature for the first time the  “NextGen Tennis Coaches programme”. This is an initiative that wants to support the entry of young people into the coaching profession world. This year twelve young coaches, aged not over 30, will be offered a free participation in the event.

The names of the speakers featured at WTC 2023 well illustrate the commitment of GPTCA and Segal Institute to making the conference a key reference event for the training of professional tennis coaches. In fact, 68 speakers – mainly tennis coaches, physical trainers, mental coaches and top-level sports scientists – will take the floor on the virtual stage of WTC.

By sharing their experiences and skills, they will highlight the fundamental aspects required for obtaining excellent tennis performances. Just to mention but a few: famous coaches such as Toni Nadal and Alberto Castellani, Grand Slam champions such as Sergi Bruguera and Pat Cash, as well as former top ten players such as Brad Gilbert, Jimmy Arias, Magnus Norman, Rainer Schuttler and Tommy Haas.

And speaking about current top players coaches, as well as Toni Nadal (who currently is following Auger-Aliassime), WTC 2023 will host Sergi Bruguera (since last year with Zverev), Vincenzo Santopadre (Berrettini’s lifelong coach),  Gilles Cervara, Daniil Medvedev’s coach, Frederic Fontang, head coach of Aliassime, and Michael Russell, Taylor Fritz’s coach. And last but not least, when it comes to excellent performances, the physical trainer of Novak Djokovic: Marco Panichi.

The conference aims to train coaches at 360 degrees, thus also dealing with the skills a coach should develop outside the canonical technical, tactical, physical and mental areas, in order to be able to support his player even more effectively and better organize his manifold activities. Hence the focus on relations with media and  external communication, Topics which, were already discussed during the first edition.

This time also Ubitennis will take part in the virtual stage of WTC. In fact, the Live Panel “Communications Training” will see among the Special Speakers our Director Ubaldo Scanagatta, with his decades of experience as a journalist, reporter and correspondent at over 160 Grand Slams, but also former director of the ATP tournament in Florence, from 1974 to 1979, and our collaborator Ilvio Vidovich, member of the Scientific Committee and press officer of ISMC  (International Sports Mental Coach Association).

The event will take place on the CoachTube e-learning platform. Further information is available on the event website https://worldtennisconference.com/.

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ATP

World No.32 Davidovich Fokina Replaces Long-Time Coach With Verdasco

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Fernando Verdasco was spotted earlier this week briefly watching Ons Jabeur play at the French Open but his focus this year is on another player.

The former top 10 player has landed a new coaching job after being hired by compatriot Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Somebody who he once played a Tour-level doubles match alongside back in 2020. Fokina has opted to stop working with Jorge Aguirre, who has been his mentor since he was a child.

The change comes after what has been a mixed start to the season for Fokina who has only managed to win back-to-back matches in two out of 11 tournaments played before the start of Roland Garros. His sole win over a top 20 player occurred at the start of 2024 when he beat Hubert Hurkacz at the United Cup.  

“I will be very brief. I have left it with Jorge (Aguirre) and I start with Verdasco, with whom I have had a good relationship for years. He has not officially retired, but I knew that he was training other players and it was time,” Fokina told reporters after beating Valentin Vacherot in the first round of the French Open.
“It was time to close a stage and start a new one. With his experience, Verdasco can help me a lot to face the games, to assume that pressure and tension of the competition.”

Verdasco has won seven ATP titles during his career and reached the semi-finals of the 2009 Australian Open. At this year’s Madrid Open, he briefly helped Jabeur whose main coach Issam Jellali was unable to attend the tournament. 

Fokina will next play Casper Ruud in Roland Garros.

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Grand Slam Quarter-Finalist Van De Zandschulp Pondering Retirement After French Open Exit

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image via https://x.com/Boticvdz/

Botic van de Zandschulp has revealed he is losing his passion for tennis and is considering retiring from the sport following his exit from the French Open on Monday.

The 29-year-old was knocked out of the tournament in straight sets by Fabio Fognini, who eased his way to a 6-1, 6-1, 7-5, victory. It is the second Grand Slam in a row where he has fallen at the first hurdle with the 2022 Wimbledon championships being the last major event where he won back-to-back matches.   

“I don’t look forward to competitions at all anymore,” Zandschulp told Dutch media.
“I have been asking myself more and more lately whether I want to continue.
“You have to do work that you enjoy. Everyone has a bad day every now and then. But if there are too many, then you have to ask yourself whether you want to continue.” 

Zandschulp has been the top-ranked player in his country with his most notable achievement being a run to the quarter-finals of the 2021 US Open. The former world No.22 is a two-time runner-up at the Munich Open but is yet to win an ATP Tour title. He has registered a total of six wins over top 10 players, including Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev. 

However, recent difficulties on the Tour have left the Dutchman questioning if he wants to continue playing.  

“I like the training. Those are great days. But when I get up in the morning, I no longer look forward to the matches at all.” He commented.

Zandschulp’s remarks could be a reaction to his frustrating loss to Fognini. However, he confirmed that he has been considering retiring for a long time. 

“It was the worst match I have played in my life,” he said. 
“Of course, it is now fresh after the match. That plays a role in my mind, but the thoughts of quitting have been there for a long time. It is not an easy life as a tennis player. You really live your life, play thirty weeks a year and travel from pillar to post.
“If you don’t play, someone else will pass you by (in the rankings). That’s why I now play extra tournaments instead of charging myself at home.”

Zandschulp is currently ranked 102nd in the world and is scheduled to play in the French Open doubles event on Tuesday.

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“It’s Purely Psychological” – Maria Sakkari Berates ‘Unacceptable’ French Open Defeat

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Maria Sakkari - Roma 2023 (foto Francesca Micheli, Ubitennis)

Greece’s Maria Sakkari said she felt ‘intense anxiety’ before her first round match at the French Open after crashing out of the draw on Monday.  

The sixth seed suffered a shock 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, loss to Varvara Gracheva who is currently ranked 88th in the world. Sakkari produced a costly 39 unforced errors and dropped serve five times in her latest match. It is the first time she has lost her opening match at a tournament since February.  

Heading into Paris, the 28-year-old had produced encouraging results on the Tour after reaching the semi-finals in Charleston before making fourth round appearances at WTA 1000 events in Madrid and Rome. 

 “It’s the first time I don’t know what to say…” Sakkari told SDNA
“I’ve been very well these days. It was very sudden for me too, I started feeling intense anxiety before the match. I would really like to give the right answers, but all I have to say is that I have been very well these days. No matter what set I played, no matter what practice I did, everyone could see that I was fine. It’s definitely psychological, purely. It’s nothing else.” 

Since appearing in two Grand Slam semi-finals in 2021, Sakkari has struggled to make an impact at the major events. Her defeat to Gracheva makes it the fourth time she has lost in the first round of a Grand Slam since the start of last year. Overall, she has only managed to win back-to-back matches in two out of her nine most recent appearances at these tournaments. 

 “I won the first set and I kept getting nervous. My pulse was very high throughout the match, especially until the middle of the third set,” she said of her latest performance.
“I was feeling a panic, it’s not like I won the first set and relaxed. Maybe if I had broken the first game of the second set things would have been different. But what can we say now?’  
“It’s purely psychological, I’m not hiding. I will not look for excuses. I put too much pressure on myself, not to lose another game in the first or second round of a Grand Slam. Everyone around me tries to tell me that it happened in New York too, but then I recovered. However, it is not the same. I’ve recovered and I’m playing well in the other tournaments, but it’s proven that I’m not playing well in the Grand Slams. I feel it’s one thing, another thing.” 

Whilst praising her opponent, Sakkari describes her defeat as ‘unacceptable’ and hopes it will serve as a wake-up call for her.  

She now heads to the grass season with a win-loss record of 19-10 so far this year.

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