Diana Shnaider

February 17, 2023

“I’m from a really small town — I’m not from Moscow. I started playing tennis at four years old because my parents were searching for some stuff for me to do. As a kid, I explored in a lot of different ways — I danced, played music and also found tennis. I remember we were driving through town and we saw a big racket with the name of a club. It said that they had groups of kids. My mom was like, “Maybe we should try this one.” We got there and asked if I could try one practice, just to see if I would like it. They said yes, and that day I just tried it. There was a good coach for the kids, and he saw that I had good reaction times that are needed for tennis. I came a second time, a third time, and then the coach gave me a racket to keep. I went everywhere with the racket. My parents used to tell me that I was sleeping with the racket — I never let it go. They told me that I broke everything, all the glass in the flat, because I was always holding (more…)

Franco Agamenone

February 9, 2023

“There’s no one moment when tennis changed my life. Throughout my career, I’ve gone through many beautiful and not so beautiful moments. All of these moments helped me to grow. The hardest moment in my career was when they told me I was positive for a doping test. It was from contaminated supplements and I couldn’t compete for 9 months. That was a very hard time. Surely, one of the most beautiful moments of my career was last year getting to play the Grand Slams for the first time in my life. Also, at the tournament in UMAG I experienced indescribable emotions. Victories often confuse you and make you deviate from the most important thing, which is to always give 100% and continue growing. In my case, it has happened to me that I was affected by thoughts surrounding expectations. The expectations of others, or the expectations I thought they had for me, dictated my thoughts. Additionally, the belief that “If I beat an opponent with a high ranking today, I must beat someone with a lower ranking as well,” was constantly on my mind. I am a very self-demanding person — a perfectionist.  I love tennis and I try (more…)

Pedro Cachin

February 2, 2023

“I think to become 54th in the world in the same year that you started at 250th, what sets you apart is perseverance, daily work and the passion with which you compete. I try to be very professional, and meet the requirements that tennis at this level asks of you. For many years, I worked and did not reach the levels I thought I could. Those years helped me become the person I am today. At the age of 19 I left my home to live in Europe alone and train. I wasn’t aware of the major change that I was making. It took me a long time to get used to all the differences. I remember long nights wondering if it was really worth it. In the first two years, I felt lonely many nights and loneliness is one of the worst feelings a person can feel. I was very young and did not know how to fix it, but eventually I adjusted and learned how to live with it. There have been moments in my tennis career that have changed my life both for the worse for the better. In 2016, I had a vertebra fracture. It was (more…)