Former Roger Federer and Pete Sampras mentor Jose Higueras spent the week in Scotland passing on his vast knowledge of the game to some of the UK’s most talented young players.
The Spaniard, who coached players including Michael Chang, Jim Courier, and Pete Sampras, attended the event.
The Spaniard, who coached the likes of Michael Chang, Jim Courier and Pete Sampras, spent the whole week at the University of Stirling’s GB National Tennis Academy working with the eight young players who lived there.
The center is one of two foundations set up last summer by the Lawn Tennis Association to provide young players with first-class instruction. In a program run by Tennis Scotland, eight kids, aged 12 to 16, from across the UK were invited to combine their tennis development with their training at Dollar Academy.
Higueras, himself a former top-10 player and semifinalist at the French Open, was happy to have the chance to work with the players and to speak to them about what it takes to make it to the top of the sport.
With the discipline, passion and dedication it takes every day, I try to show them what it takes to be a good tennis player,”I try to show them what it takes to be a good tennis player, with the discipline, passion and commitment it takes every day,”
That’s one thing you see with a lot of players and kids in general, there is not enough consistency on a regular basis with that engagement and dedication. When you don’t feel like it, it counts a lot more to do something than to do something when you feel fantastic.
He said, “You never know how you’re going to run until you’re 100 percent invested in it,”
That’s the message I’m sending them — if anyone else did it, it means that you can do it, too. But the key message at the same time is what it takes to give you a chance.
“Your chances of becoming a great tennis player are not good if you do anything right. But they’re not good for everyone, because the standard is so high and it’s so difficult.
You never know what’s going to happen if you do anything in your capacity. If
No, you’re never going to meet your potential.
The program was established by head coach Leo Azevedo, who has served in the United States and Spain at similar facilities.
The aim is to offer the best possible training to young players to build on the legacy of Andy Murray, who left Dunblane to go to Barcelona’s Sanchez-Casal Academy when he was 15.
In the group of 8 currently attending the center, there is only one Scot. The only local player to make it through this year’s intake is 15-year-old Matthew Rankin from Edinburgh.
The teenager, predictably, sees Andy Murray as a role model and aspires to do what the two-time Wimbledon champion has done in the game.
Rankin said, “Andy Murray is my favorite tennis player and it motivates me to be like him,”
I’ve been watching him my whole life, and I’ve met him a couple of times, and I’ve talked to him a couple of times, and now it just encourages me to be like him. I would like to drive myself to the highest level that I can be.
“I’m proud to be the only Scot to fly the flag and I want to continue that so I can make people proud and do it for myself.”
It was a big coup for Tennis Scotland that the LTA decided to locate one of its centers in this country, and Blane Dodds, chief executive of Tennis Scotland, is confident that it will help develop players who can follow in the footsteps of Murray.
“We’re bringing a world-class coaching team and a world-class program to Scotland,” he said.
After the success of Andy and Jamie and Gordon Reid, who were world class athletes, that was our ambition.
Andy is a special case, and not everyone is going to be number one in the world. No magic wand is here. But we should have the best possible program to improve and bring players as far into world tennis as possible to the best of their ability.
“Part of the program Leo has put together is a lot of foreign tournaments and training, and that’s very important.”