Marion Bartoli

January 26, 2023

#LegendaryBTR – “I won Wimbledon in 2013 and retired weeks later. When you win a Grand Slam, you are on top of the world and do not want to quit because you have finally gotten the reward of your hard work. My mind wanted to continue but my body could not play anymore. I devoted my whole life to compete with the best players in the world. The extra hours of practice and fitness took a toll on my body. I could not continue to play in pain. I wanted a Grand Slam so much that my mind pushed my body until I won Wimbledon. But when I finally won, I felt empty. I did not have any more resources to return to the court. It was painful because I could not capitalize on my victory. Luckily, I found fashion and design. I earned my fashion degree from Central Saint Martins in London which took my mind off the pain of not being able to play tennis. I have designed for Fila for a long time. My success off the court has helped me mentally erase my past identity as a tennis player. Without fashion, I would have fared worse (more…)

Jesper de Jong

January 20, 2023

“It’s pretty terrifying to think about not succeeding, because you always dream about doing the opposite.  Tennis has been the main constant in my life since quitting football when I was around 10. From then, everything just happened: Getting a better national ranking, then rising on the international junior ranking, playing junior slams. You’re a full-time player already at that point.  From 2018, I basically went pro, but it didn’t feel like anything changed in my ‘tennis life’. The only thing that slightly changed my perspective was the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires. I went there with 30 other athletes from different sports and had the opportunity to see what they do. It was a big eye opener, in a very nice way, to see others’ dedication and commitment to their sport.  I think one of my biggest weapons is my work ethic, especially while training at home. I give my everything. I’m kind of a perfectionist, so I put pressure on myself to work hard, otherwise I don’t feel satisfied while laying in bed at night.  My challenger win in June 2021 was something that changed my expectations. I won one, and basically expected more and better results (more…)

Francesco Maestrelli

January 3, 2023

“I consider myself a truly ordinary guy, who takes pleasure in helping the people he loves. I don’t think I have any particular distinctive characteristics, but I recognize that I have an excellent conception of work, which I never want to escape out of the desire to improve more and more. Because of this, I’m also continuing to study outside of tennis, attending the faculty of economics and commerce. Off the court, there have been some painful moments. Recently, my grandfather was diagnosed with a tumor, which he is still living with today.  He is one of the people I love the most. Even if he’s under control, I have this constant fear that one day he may suddenly go away, without giving him all the joys and satisfactions he deserves, because for me he is a bit of my superhero. I’m not very worried about not being successful in tennis, simply because everyday I try to give 100% of myself to improve myself more and more.  I think this is the secret: I only think about giving my best, and what comes will be the consequence, without ever having regrets. The moment when tennis changed my life was my (more…)