Find all the latest news on what’s happening at SotoTennis Academy, updates on our players and details of upcoming events right here.
March 2012 - Valeria & Josh Rise Up World Rankings!
STA player Valeria Savinykh is continuing her rise up the world rankings. The 21-year-old from Russia has reached a career high of 110 WTA this week, following trips to Columbia and Mexico in February where she beat several players ranked inside the top 80.
Valeria also reached her first WTA doubles semi-final at the $220,000 event in Bogota. She partnered Hungary’s Timea Babos narrowly missing out on the final, after losing to eventual winners Eva Birnerova and Alexandra Panova 6-4, 5-7, 12-10.
Meanwhile fellow STA player Josh Ward-Hibbert is continuing his storm up the junior rankings. Josh has broken into the top 20 in the world, a rise of over 600 places since joining STA 18 months ago. Josh,18, has had an excellent few months reaching the quarter-finals of the junior Australian Open in January. He paired up with STA access player Liam Broady to win the Boys Doubles event, becoming only the second British pair to claim the title.They also won the Boys Doubles at the prestigious Orange Bowl in Florida in December.
Josh is now GB junior number 3, behind Liam and Kyle Edmund, who are ranked world number 3 and 9 respectfully.
Read more about all of our STA players here.
January 2012 - Josh & Liam Are Australian Open Champions!
The boys took just 44 minutes to beat Adam Pavlasek from the Czech Republic and Croatia’s Fiip Veger 6-3, 6-2 in the final in Melbourne. STA Head Coach Dan Kiernan says they played a smart match “Today was a great day for Josh and Liam and they couldn't deserve it any more. They prepared perfectly and executed like champions, only losing 5 points on serve in the whole match. This is a great day for STA, and only the start.”
It completes a fantastic run for the British pair that has seen them beat the 2nd and 4th seeds on their way to victory. Josh, who turned 18 this week, also reached the quarter-finals of the boys singles, rising to 20 in the World junior ITF rankings.
They can now add ‘Grand Slam Champions’ to their list of achievements, after winning the prestigious Orange Bowl Doubles in Florida last month.
This was Liam’s third Grand Slam final, having won the Wimbledon boys doubles in 2010, and reaching the final of Junior Wimbledon last year. He’s currently ranked 3rd in the World junior rankings and is GB number 1.
Everyone at STA is very proud of Josh and Liam!
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to see more photos and interviews of the boys from Melbourne.
You can also read Dan’s blogs from the Aussie Open here.
January 2012 - Josh & Liam Into Australian Open Boys Doubles Final!
The pair came from a set down to beat Aussie duo Andrew Harris and Nick Kyrgios 4-6, 6-4, 10-6 in Melbourne. STA Head Coach Dan Kiernan said it was a slow start but they turned it around “The boys produced when they needed it most today, but will need to be at the races from the first point tomorrow. There have been great lessons and experiences for the boys each and every day and we are looking for a strong, energetic performance in the final tomorrow.”
Josh and Liam beat the 2nd and 4th seeds on their way to the final. They will now take on unseeded pair Adam Pavlasek from the Czech Republic and Filip Veger from Croatia on show court 3 on Friday.
This will be Josh’s first Grand Slam final, but Liams third; he reached the final of the Wimbledon Boys Singles in 2011, and won the Boys Doubles at Wimbledon in 2010. Josh and Liam also won the prestigious Orange Bowl Championships in December.
It was a good end to the day for Josh, who lost in the quarter-finals of the Boys singles in the morning. After taking out the 8th and 9th seeds, Canada’s Filip Peliwo who is world number 7, ended Josh’s fantastic run in Melbourne 6-3, 6-2.
Everyone at STA is very proud of Josh and Liam and all that they have achieved in Australia this week. Let’s see it to the end boys!
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January 2012 - Aussie Open: Josh Into the Quarters on 18th Birthday!
Josh took out the 9th seed, Nicola Milojevic from Serbia 6-3, 6-2 in Melbourne earlier today, saving 14 break points along the way. Josh told STA “you don’t think on the 14th one, that you’ve already saved 13. All you think about is each point and so I just tried to play the best one I could, and luckily he missed a few returns.
“I’ve got to the quarterfinals, so there’s reason why I can’t get to the final, so that’s the plan for me right now.
Josh takes on Canada’s Filip Peliwo in the quarter-finals tomorrow. He also has his boys doubles semi-final with STA access player Liam Broady. The boys take on Aussie pair Andrew Harris and Nick Kyrgios after beating the 2nd seeds 7-6, 6-3.
Good luck boys from everyone here at STA!
You can see interviews with Josh and Liam, photos and all the latest updates from Melbourne on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
January 2012 - Aussie Open:Josh Advances to the Last 16!
Josh took out the 8th seed and World Number 8 Stefano Napolitano 6-3, 6-4 in Melbourne. It follows his straight sets win in the first round on Sunday. Josh said he played a great match “I felt good when I was playing, my groundstrokes maybe felt a bit better yesterday, but performance wise it was probably the best performance I’ve done in a while. My serve helped me through the match a lot, I am happy to come through it”
Josh will now take on 9th seed Nikola Milojevic from Serbia tomorrow for a place in the quarter finals.
Meanwhile STA access player and 3rd seed Liam Broady was beaten 6-4, 6-1 by the unseeded Robin Stanek from the Czech Republic.
Liam came fighting back in the boys doubles with Josh in the afternoon, with a straightforward 6-2, 6-2 win. They now face 2nd seeds Julien Cagnina and Thiago Monteiro in the quarter-finals tomorrow.
STA Director Dan Coach is with the boys in Melbourne: “It was a fantastic effort by Josh today and well deserved for his hard work over the last few weeks and also while out here in Oz. He is an example to any young player, as he is looking to develop his game each and every day even when in a tournament. Josh gave a mature display and is ready for tomorrow in what will be another tough match.
“Liam deserves a big shout out for the way he responded after a disappointing singles match to combine with Josh for a relatively easy doubles victory.”
Click here to see an interview with Josh & Dan after his singles match.
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