Flula Borg

January 30, 2020

January 30, 2020 “I live in Los Angeles 50% of the time and the rest of the time I travel. I grew up in Germany, which is where it all started. I was a very young child when I remember first watching a match with my my dad. He loved tennis, and was watching an old replay of Boris Becker. In Germany, Boris is probably our greatest male player of all time. Steffi Graf, of course, is the greatest female player. I remember him laughing and screaming at the TV because Boris was always bloody, I feel like he just always put his body on the line. He was just running around and getting very dirty. I don’t really know if it was blood or just clay from the French Open, but I remember seeing this and that was the first memory of when I truly started to love it. When I was super young, it was the golden age of tennis, especially in America because they had everyone at this time. From Agassi, Sampras, Courier, Chang, Washington, just everyone. I loved watching Andre Agassi, because he was the opposite of Becker. I like tennis because it’s you and another (more…)

Romana Tabak

January 26, 2020

January 26, 2020 “My family wasn’t into tennis and they didn’t give me the support I needed. The passion for the sport came from within when I found tennis courts near my house. My coach was like a father to me as he also helped raise me. I was fortunate enough to get the help needed from the Slovakian tennis federation. I was constantly putting pressure on myself that I wasn’t good enough and I was supposed to have the ranking that past champions had at my age. I had trouble playing challengers when my mind was only thinking about grand slams. I just never had the team around me I needed. It was sad to see the agency that signed me not trying to help with the development of me as a player, just worried about the money opportunities and wildcards. It was within the same year of getting my best ranking when doctors found out I had Lyme disease. I was devastated by the news. Doctors did say that I would be able to return after a few months off, but for some reason I felt that deep inside my career was over. I was mentally exhausted and (more…)

Laura Siegemund

January 24, 2020

January 24, 2020 “Throughout my whole career I thought it was as simple as one plus one. If you put in hard work and don’t give up, you will be successful at some point. It’s not that easy though. I have always worked very hard to achieve my goals however for a long time fell short of my aspirations. I was a very ambitious kid and looking back probably needed someone to help me with the demands and challenges of professional sport. It would have been helpful if someone had tempered and guided my ambition and enthusiasm rather than allowing me to push myself to the limit. In my mid 20’s, at the end of 2012, I decided to quit the professional tour as it was a very unhappy time for me. I was burnt out and just felt the need to take a step back. I started to study psychology, which was always a passion of mine, and also started teaching tennis on a recreational level for fun. That gave me a completely different perspective of this sport. I was still playing tennis during this break, but it wasn’t for results, ranking points or achievements, which I’d been running (more…)

Janko Tipsarevic

January 12, 2020

January 12, 2020 “I retired at the end of last year. I have recently been expanding my academy to four new cities around the world, while coaching part time on the side. After my many years on tour the number one thing I would teach others is persistence. Persistence helped me push through the tremendous amount of mixed emotions that came during my injuries. I am pretty unfortunate dealing with seven surgeries in the last five years. It is a psychological rollercoaster. Though difficult while going through them, it has allowed me to be a better father, husband, business owner, friend and son. I have learned that in order to grow as a person you need to learn how to deal with adversity while also being humble in times of hope. During my injuries there were definitely some serious mental problems I was dealing with, you can even use the term depression to describe how I felt. Dealing with all the ups and downs, doctors and opinions, you just become f**king insane from not knowing what to do. In the end I do not think the general advice of ‘stay positive’ is helpful. There were many times where I fought (more…)

Mike Stephens

January 7, 2020

January 7, 2020 “I had it made. Retired after 22 years of military service and working as an Engineer in the commercial nuclear industry…and yet, something was missing. Many years of my life were spent as the nuclear weapons officer on a trident submarine. I would switch between spending three months underwater, then above, then back under. I wasn’t truly happy with my career. I remember the day my life changed forever. It was August of 2017 and I was on the bus heading from Manhattan to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows. Eight and a half years into my 10 year career as a nuclear engineer I learned that a childhood friend had days to live; cancer was winning. His plan was to work until 60 and then raise horses, a lifetime dream. One of his last messages was to pursue my dreams in life and not wait until I thought it was financially feasible. My passion was stringing tennis racquets. Beginning with a way to help my daughter as a middle school player, who would constantly shank balls and break strings, I found this love in stringing. The problem was that stringing tennis racquets (more…)

Taylor Townsend

January 5, 2020

January 5, 2020 “For as long as I can remember, I have been counted out of the conversation. At the age of 4, I was kicked out of a tennis program and the directors told my parents that I was fat, lazy and uncoachable. How people can determine this from a child, I have no idea. From the beginning, people looked at my physique and automatically judged my abilities before I walked on the court and started playing. The tennis court was my happy place, where I felt free and where opinions didn’t matter. Fast forward to age 14, I had been recognized by the USTA and moved to Florida alone in hopes of bettering myself and my tennis career, I did not know what that looked like at that time. I remember losing a singles match in an ITF juniors event, and pulled Noah (yes… this Noah Rubin) to the side and told him, ‘I don’t think I am cut out to be a singles player. I cant win a match in singles, but am winning everything in doubles. Maybe my path is being chosen for me.’ Noah then said, ‘No Taylor, it will happen, just give it time.’ (more…)