Nicolas Basaez Cespedes

August 24, 2023

#MyBTR “Despite the adversities of life I have never given up even without having my upper extremities. I keep overcoming all the obstacles that are put in front of meFear for me becomes a challenge, so it makes me want to continue showing that in this life, nothing is impossible. Tennis changed my life at the age of 7, when those who told me that since I didn’t have arms I couldn’t play it. Now look at the present time I am the number 1 Adaptive Tennis player in Chile, standing up to be number 8 in the world. If I had paid attention to those who said I could not do it, I would never have had so many achievements with tennis.Tennis has changed my life a lot because thanks to it I have been able to meet countries and people openly. My social circle is completely different at work, since I am a tennis teacher for young people with different abilities and that makes me very happy.The most painful thing off the field is that they judge you without knowing you, they say you cannot do it and they try to limit you, but I use that as (more…)

Mark Lajal

August 18, 2023

“I come from a motorsport family, which I think is the funniest part of my story. My dad used to be a motocross racer, and my grandpa used to be a rally driver. So tennis was never really in my family. I started racing motorcycles when I was three years old, and grew up racing. At around six, my dad had a dream of going on a road trip from Tallinn to Vladivostok. During this time, my mom put me in a tennis program. For a couple years I did both racing and tennis, and eventually chose tennis over racing. I vividly remember my first practice and the way I hit my forehead. I used to get so excited about making the ball spin. I guess I just always loved tennis for the sport it is – it stuck with from the beginning. And since I started, I wanted to play professionally. I don’t remember saying, but my mom remembers me telling her when I was seven or eight that I was going to win the US Open. I’ve always had that dream. Coming from Estonia, such a small country, it hasn’t been easy because we don’t have many tournaments. (more…)

Facundo Diaz Acosta

August 10, 2023

“For a long time, I was scared of not succeeding. But in the last few months, I’ve learned that succeeding for me is waking up every morning and doing my best. If the result is good or not is another thing, but right now my focus is trying to do that every day and I’m okay with that. I think one of the things that separates me from other players is that I started working with my tennis and physical coaches when I was 12 years old. So I’ve been working with them for 10 years and I consider most of them my family. We’ve been through a lot of good and bad things together, and that’s built a strong relationship between us. In 2018, I’d say tennis changed my life. I was a good junior player and was able to quality for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, which is my home. I had a really good week, and I found myself in the final with 5,000 people in the stadium watching my match. That was incredible After that, a lot of people knew me and there were a lot of expectations. It was tough to manage that (more…)

Gian Marco Moroni

August 6, 2023

“I started having panic attacks when I was young. At first, they just sometimes happened. In 2021, though, I started to have them more often.I remember the final in Milan, I was playing the match with a panic attack. I ended up cramping *in the end* of second set because I was so tense. All I could do was tell myself to relax and sing to myself. In the end, I managed to control it and it was okay.During those times, I try to think about my *niece* . *She’s* four and the thought of *her* relaxes me and makes me happy. I think for guys of our generation it’s pretty normal to have these kinds of things. It’s just about managing it. It’s emotions, and I love to feel emotions, so for me it’s fine.Along with the panic attacks, in 2018, my back problems started. It was the year I was cracking inside the top 200. I had started the year around 800 and worked my way to 218 by the end of the season. And it was also the first year I played six months in a row.As a junior, I had injuries that had gotten in the (more…)

Terence Atmane 

July 18, 2023

“Tennis has changed my life since the first day I walked onto the court. At the beginning, it was almost stressful, because I was saying to my parents when I was seven years old that I wanted to be the best tennis player in the world and I wanted to dedicate my life to it. But it’s a choice I’ll never regret, and I’m glad my parents approved and were so supportive of my decision from that first day. I think something that differentiates me from other players is my instinct. I’m very unpredictable on the court. My IQ is over 158 – I’ve been designated with HIP, high intellectual potential – so when my brain is working correctly on the court, I can be dangerous because I’m not thinking like other people do. Sometimes, though, it can lead me to make the wrong choice because I get nervous or start to overthink. But this is something I’m working on, and I think I can turn it into a weapon on the tour. Fear is a big part of the game, but, to be honest, I’m not thinking about it often. I’m just doing my best every day, on and (more…)

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…)

Sasha Korashvili

May 12, 2023

#PartII ”Back in September 2020 I was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome and Myelofibrosis, type of a blood cancer. Luckily, I was able to undergo bone marrow transplant (BMT) in January 2021. It is very aggressive treatment for a human body as they “kill” your bone marrow completely with chemotherapy to replace it with donor’s marrow. It was my only chance to become a healthy person again, so with no doubt I agreed.  After the treatment I had one year restrictions as my immune system was weak and prone to infections and viruses. I was avoiding crowded places, followed special diet and mostly staying at home as my body was weak. Slowly, I started to workout little more to gain strength back. In January 2022, my doctor allowed me to comeback to regular life as I successfully completed rehab after BMT and I started to get in shape to comeback on court. But on 24th of February I woke to explosions, war in Ukraine started… I stayed in bombshelter for 6 days and after that I decided to flee to Austria till August to save my life for a second time.  In September I came back to Kyiv and started to (more…)