Lin Zhu

July 27, 2022

When I start to play tennis at age 4 , literally nobody thought I could play tennis except for my parents, not even talk about pro tennis, because tennis is a minority sport in China, we only have one tennis court in my city when I started to play, we knew nothing about the sport, a lot people don’t even know what tennis is , but my parents believed I can do something, so I believe in myself , and I’m still here, chasing for my dream. I remember when I turned pro from junior at age 16 , and it didn’t going well for about 2 years , that I don’t have enough money to travel, or get a better coach , my ranking stayed at 500 for almost 2 years, nothing improved, I felt like maybe I can’t play tennis ,I’m not good enough, I think maybe it’s time for me to do something else, like go to college in US, so I spoke with my parents and the Federation, they respected my decision but hoped I can try one more time, give it my all and have no regrets. I accepted it. In the next year, my (more…)

Gastao Elias

July 20, 2022

“I think I have an interesting personality. I consider myself a calm person, but I have the ability to turn on the heat and be completely different when I’m on the tennis court. I think that’s what has helped me throughout my career, especially mentally.  I was pretty scared of not succeeding. I was very successful from a young age and always had good results growing up. It always felt like I had my whole country behind me, and that was pretty scary. At the time, Portugal had not had any big time players and I could feel the people back home hoping I could fill those shoes — that’s something a kid might not be able to handle.  I’ve had a few life-changing experiences, but moving to the US when I was 16 was the most significant one.  I had to adapt to a totally different lifestyle: Being away from family, starting to study in a different language, and living in a place known for the IMG Academy. I was breathing tennis pretty much every minute of my life. It was scary, but at the same time I feel like that was a very important period of my life.  (more…)