Filip Jianu 

June 28, 2023

“When you come from a country like mine, where in the last 15 years there’s been no tennis system, financial help for players, tournaments, donors or specialists, you have a tiny chance to make it. People there think that you must be completely crazy to follow the path of a professional tennis player. The number of successful players in the past 10-15 years from my country are living proof alone. And yet, here I am following my passion. That’s what differentiates me from other players. My blind belief that I could make it. Until the age of 14, tennis was just a game and hobby for me. Then, suddenly, I was playing in the finals of the European Championship U14. My result there brought me international exposure, and without it I wouldn’t be here today. After that, I was given a scholarship at IMG Academy, where I stayed until I was 18. That was where I learned what professional tennis means, how the pros train and behave, and everything else. The people there helped me to become one of the best juniors in the world, and showed me I had the potential to keep down this path. The first real (more…)

Weronika Falkowska 

June 8, 2023

“I was always a sports person, I think. My dad took me to my first tennis lesson when I was five and half, and I just fell in love with the sport. Without my dad, I don’t think I would’ve played tennis. He helped me so much and he’s very involved. Not as much anymore, I’m trying to separate things more, but he was always there. He was never my coach, but he helped me with finding sponsors and getting financial support, because in Poland that can be very tough. I think maybe because tennis isn’t so popular here. But I was very grateful to have him and still am.  He traveled with me to tournaments all over Poland and outside. He helped me a lot. At first, he didn’t know anything about tennis. I think he just listened to coaches and learned from them. He also saw that I was good at the sport and enjoyed it, so he continued even with the risk. Because there is risk. You never know if your child is going to be good or not, and it can be a lot of money. I think at the beginning, I won a lot of (more…)

Mark Booras

June 4, 2023

Mark Booras, head tennis coach at Tulane University in New Orleans, needs the help of the larger tennis community.  Mark has played tennis for virtually all of his 52 years.  He played college tennis at the University of West Virginia. He began his collegiate career for legendary coach Terry Deremer at West Virginia in 1989 and was a four-year letterman for the Mountaineers from 1989-93. He twice served as team captain, and was the Atlantic-10 Conference Player of the Year and the school’s senior player of the year in 1993. In each of his final three seasons at West Virginia, Booras competed in both the NCAA singles and doubles championship tournaments. He was a top-20 singles and doubles player throughout his college career. Following his collegiate career, Booras joined the ATP tour and continued his success, ranking as high as No. 267 in the world in doubles and 797 in singles. After a three-year career from 1994-96, he retired and decided to further his education. While earning his master’s degree at West Virginia, he was also the volunteer assistant men’s tennis coach and a private tennis instructor. Mark went to Tulane in 2008 to rebuild a team from scratch, after Tulane had to (more…)

Jordan Belga

June 2, 2023

“Growing up, I was a sheltered introverted awkward kid. Even though I grew up in church and became a born-again Christian, I was good at living it portrayed but not necessarily understanding the “whys” internally. Tennis became my obsession from 9 years old. I was exposed to more of the world with the lens of a church kid. There was so much that I didn’t understand and was probably misunderstood for why I acted differently in certain situations. On the internal side, I struggled with communicating and building relationships with people who didn’t see or listen to how I viewed the world from faith.At 12-14 years old, I reached career highs that led my family to making a major sacrificial decision to move to Boca Raton to advance my tennis with USTA Player Development. 10 short months later, I found myself in a dark hole of misery with a major back injury that sidelined me for over a year. Seeing my peers move on, I never would have imagined dropping off the radar from the top of my game causing me to almost quit. I was fortunate to come back and get recruited to the University of Florida in hopes (more…)