STA Hosts the Progress Tour

Posted on: December 10, 2019 |

SotoTennis Academy hosted the Progress Tour in October 2019, it was an amazing success seeing players from 16 nationalities competing.

Watch our video and read more about the event below.

SotoTennis Academy hosted its first Progress Tour, what a huge success it’s been with over 60 players competing.  Ollie Cores was a great referee, coordinating the tournament and making sure players had at least four competitive matches throughout the event.

Land Rover Future and Babolat sponsored the Tournament.  Our ball crew of young STA players looked great and did a brilliant job.

We had players from 16 nationalities competing including UK, Ireland, Spain, Greece, Sweden, Israel, Lithuania, Germany, Gibraltar, Portugal, Hungary, Russia, France, Canada, Australia and the USA.

The Women’s Bonus went to STA player Anjie Suresh from Canada who beat Katie Graydon in the playoff match.

Players making it through to the semi-finals where:

  • Matthew Gedney, STA player and student at Sotogrande International school who is studying A ‘levels on the Elite program.
  • James MacKinlay who is a past STA player now studying at Sterling University.
  • Lucas Franco Vacas from Jerez de la Frontera was number 1 in under 16s in Spain.
  • Joe White who is a full time STA player.  Joe has daily strength and conditioning sessions and trains twice a day on court.  Along with his lead coach he has defined goals and tournament plans in place.

The semi-finals which were played on Thursday morning saw James MacKinlay beat Matthew Gedney 6-1, 6-1.  Joe White beat Lucas Franco Vacas 6-4, 0-6, 6-1.

The final on Thursday afternoon saw a full crowd of supporters.  A ball crew of young STA players had been trained by coach Mark Smout.  The ball crew where very efficient and helped the final run very smoothly.   Joe played a very solid match making very few unforced errors, whilst also making it difficult for James to approach the net and be aggressive.  There was lots of great tennis to see with Joe winning 6-3  6-2 .

The presentation of the trophies was conducted by Dan Kiernan, STA director.  He thanked, Land Rover Future, Babolat, the El Octogono owner and staff, STA employees, the supporters, ball crew and the players for a fabulous tournament.

Special thanks to Kris Gray from Tenerife for being the umpire in the final.


STA The Progress Tour Doubles tie break 10s.


The doubles tie break tens were held on the Tuesday night and saw 28 pairs competing.  The fast-paced nature of the event made each result the more unpredictable.

There were seven pools with four teams in each.  The winning team from each pool then went into the quarter finals along with the best runner up team.

The semi-final matches saw 6 full time STA players, one STA director and one previous STA player all compete. Arkadianou/Flaherty beat Kiernan/Hoyt 10-8 in a thrilling encounter.  Scottish duo Collins/MacKinlay beat Gleeson/White in another nail-biting battle.

The Final between Arkadianou/Flaherty and Collins/MacKinlay was a very close match with Arkadianou and Flaherty moving 8-4 ahead.  Collins and MacKinlay found the composure and brilliance to come back and win the Championship trophies.

There was a great atmosphere with all ages watching the tennis on show a lovely BBQ was available for everyone to enjoy.

So many people have commented on what a successful tournament it’s been, as an Academy we have loved it!  We hope to see you all next year#TeamSoto


Wimbledon mixed doubles quarter finalist Evan Hoyt gave his advice

During the progress tour Evan shared some of his learning with players
“Happiness breads success” don’t be too self-critical, enjoy he process.  It’s important to know why you are competing, this will help you when overcoming setbacks:

  • Continue to grow – on court, in the gym, in the mind, have the right habits in place.
  • Inspire others – helping and supporting young tennis players at the Academy.
  • Enjoy travelling – tennis has taken Evan around the world highlights include the Hollywood Boulevard and Sydney Opera House.
  • Meeting people – coaches and mentors have become lifelong friends.  Another bonus is meeting famous people like Samuel L. Jackson.

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