World Champions, Country representation, a National Champion, Grand Slams, a BBC Sports Personality of the year nominee, British Tour Champions, and an AEGON Masters Champion- looks good on paper ay? Well this is only the start!
What a year 2011 has been for STA! Big thanks go to Nick Morgan, Dominic Mahboubi, Nathan Rooney, Vicki Kiernan, Amanda Wenban, Paul Coneyworth, Joma Ormrod, and Mark Hilton to name a few of our hard working staff over the year…
The team have all put work in above and beyond their duties and everyone realises what we are trying to achieve and I must say it is a pleasure to be a part of it. Some of my highlights include sitting with the team watching our first ever STA Player Josh Ward Hibbert strut his stuff on Court 12 at Wimbledon on middle Saturday at 7pm with a big crowd- the same week sitting with Liam Broadys coach Mark Hilton, while he won the thrilling 13-11 in the 3rd quarter final over Robin Kern, followed by a class act semi final display on Court 3. Sitting at home watching Josh & Liam’s score come through via twitter feeds, while winning the Orange Bowl doubles in December was a great moment. Watching my boy Luke Hammond (who I have been fortunate to work with from the age of 5) stand up to the pressure and perform on the big stage to win the U12 UK Nationals. Valeria Savinykh reached a career high of 119 in the WTA rankings, and made the final of a $50,000 ITF event in Turkey last month.
The faces of our Development group, as they are starting to make in roads into Andalucía Tour Events – there is something special about watching players develop from such a young age and make giant strides in their games. This never gets old for me and makes the long hours on the court, gym and office all worthwhile.
I am very proud of Andrew Fitzpatrick who has gone up 1000 ATP Ranking spots to 650 ATP as well as pick up 5 British Tour titles before beating Josh Goodall and Dan Evans (both top 5 in the UK) to win the British Tour Masters in December. Andrew epitomises what we want our players to be about and I can see great things coming his way in 2012.
We are also proud of the work our new players Dakota Norton, Chaney Norton, Taylor Bate, Ella Taylor and Mikey Suleau are bringing to the court every day – we have a great group there, who, after long training blocks will be ready to get stuck into tournaments in the New Year- watch out!
None of these successes have come easily for the players and it is an honour each and every day to see the work these players put in and the long hours that go into making themselves experts of the game. We will be expecting and demanding the same in 2012!
The year is starting with myself going out to Australia with Valeria, Josh and Liam. I will be blogging and ‘tweeting’ from Melbourne, so make sure you follow us @sototennis or our Facebook page SotoTennis Academy to keep up with how they are getting on!
I hope you have a happy, healthy 2012 and treat yourself to a trip to Sotogrande to visit us- no rain since October and a motivated, knowledgeable, good-looking team awaits!
Play to Win!
Director, SotoTennis Academy
Inspiring Excellence | Tennis Academy Spain