Nina Stojanovic

February 25, 2021

“I started playing tennis at age six. I would interrupt my older brother and play during his practice. My parents dedicated their lives to my tennis and my dad drove me to practice every morning before work. I fell in love with the feeling of being on court and winning matches because of your will. But I grew up in a society where people appreciate you only when you win. They do not realize how much work goes into each victory. You also have to work on other aspects to become a complete person. Each life experience defines me but there is still a long road to develop. Perhaps I am halfway there. At fifteen, I traveled to Thailand for a tournament. Before my first match, I felt very tired and sick so I went to the hospital. I was diagnosed with mononucleosis. I was very angry and disappointed. I stayed in the hospital with an IV for weeks and could not move or swallow because of the pain. My body was covered in rashes and I lost over 20 pounds. I thought I was never going to get back on the court. My dad slept on the hospital couch (more…)

Stewart Bristow

February 21, 2021

#MyBTR– For 40 years tennis has been a part of my life including a tennis journey with my daughter Sadie. Sadie, ranked UKs no1, a huge potential, winning over 40 competitions across the UK at 9. Sadie’s passion is tennis; life with only tennis in our minds.A few days after Sadie died I needed to return to tennis; to my community, to what we both love so much. Tennis helps me cope. The mental battle is immense; the only way I can handle it is via tennis. The trauma of the day Sadie suffered a sudden and unexplained anaphylactic shock; constantly at the front of my mind. What’s stopping it from exploding is tennis.As a family we started a foundation. Its aim to reach children in schools and clubs, giving them the chance to be introduced to the sport no matter where they are from, become more athletic in day to day activities. Providing opportunities and pathways; being inspired. Sadie inspired me and people she met. During a national competition; reaching the final, between matches doing anything to keep moving and focused. Passing her opponent, Sadie stopped, ‘Come and warm up with me. Let’s get ready together, it will be (more…)

Magdelena Kerres

February 14, 2021

#MyBTR- “Tennis has changed my life, in a great way! 2013 was somewhat a big year for me, full of events of both good and bad. It pretty much reaches from getting bullied, to finding the sport I love and my dad receiving a cancer diagnosis. A year full of emotion and growth. Back then I was a very overweight teenager, I was shy and afraid not to “fit in”, yet I considered myself as happy and always tried my hardest to stay positive. My tennis journey started at the beginning of that year with watching a video of @vichka35 , on my search for a sport I would enjoy. Something about her positive attitude I could relate to and her game that fascinated me, that gave me the motivation to try tennis myself. But it wasn’t until about 6 months later until I was on court the first time because an unfortunate incident came in between. A series of teasing and bullying hit me and my last bits of self confidence were destroyed. My constant fear it could happen again anytime and anywhere kept me from starting. So finally after a few months I managed to gather all my confidence and (more…)

Nicolas Massu

February 11, 2021

#LegendaryBTR- “At age 4, I watched the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and said I wanted to win a gold medal. I played soccer and tennis. My grandfather put tennis on me and I decided to dedicate myself to the sport. I started to play well. At age 15, I earned my first ATP point. I was called to play the Davis Cup and the next year, I made my debut. My fellow countryman Marcelo Rios was number one in the world at age 22 so my country had high expectations for me. I was playing my last year in the junior circuit and felt pressure from 17 million people in Chile. I like it when I feel pressure. By age 19, I was already in the Top 100 after only one year on tour. I was very young to be having good results. These results made me believe that I could do something big in tennis. But every year is different and you start to ask how good you are or where you are going to be in the future. Could I be so good that people think about me? Questions pass through your mind and you need (more…)

Bryant McKinnie

February 7, 2021

#CelebrityBTR – “My love for tennis started ten years ago after a conversation with Venus Williams. She offered lessons and I started playing. After winning the Super Bowl, I did not think tennis would be very tough. But the technique is quite important and small things go to chance. The professionals make it look easy but when you step on the court, the ball goes all over the place. Tennis requires control and a lot of skill. Every year, Venus brought friends together for a mini tournament. The first year, I was not good. I played doubles with Venus’ sister and we lost. I found a tennis coach at Lifetime Fitness and learned the basics. I had a lot of room for improvement. I did not understand the game so I watched professional matches. I saw Venus play at the Miami Open, US Open and Wimbledon. It was nerve-wracking to watch and I held my breath during points. Ten years later, I played Venus in the semifinals of her mini-tournament. She had to play with her nondominant hand and I beat her but lost in the finals. When I left the Minnesota Vikings to join the Baltimore Ravens, I found (more…)

Vera Zvonareva

February 4, 2021

“My mom worked so I spent most of my childhood with my grandma. She took me to school and practice every day since it was dangerous to travel on my own. We lived in the Southern part of Moscow and I traveled an hour and a half through the city to get to practice. My grandma was getting old and it was difficult for her to walk from one bus stop to another. At some point, I told my mom, “I don’t know if my grandma is taking me to practice or if I am taking my grandma to practice.” At 19, my grandma passed away while we were in Russia for the Fed Cup. My mom was not sure how to tell me so I did not know for two days. When I heard the news, I was with my team in the hotel. We were scheduled to face France in the finals and I had to play a deciding doubles match. I knew my grandma was watching over me so I wanted to play for her. If I succeeded, I knew she would be happy. Focusing on her and playing for my country made me stronger and I (more…)