Shymkent, Kazakhstan, ITF World Tennis Tour, Shymkent Open, 15 000 USD, clay, outdoor: 1R, Kamilla RAKHIMOVA (RUS) - Ekaterina MAKLAKOVA (RUS) 6-4 6-2, 2R: Anna UKOLOVA (RUS) 4-6 6-3 6-4, QF: Victoria DEMA (UKR) 6-4 7-6(5), SF: Gozal AINITDINOVA (KAZ) [1] 5-7 6-7(7); Shymkent, Kazakhstan, ITF World Tennis Tour, Shymkent Open, 25 000 USD, clay, outdoor: 1R, Artem DUBRIVNYY (RUS) - Markos KALOVELONIS (RUS) 6-1 6-4, 2R: Aleksandre METREVELI (GEO) 6-0 6-4, QF: Roman SAFIULLUN (RUS) 4-6 2-6; 1R, Ergi KIRKIN (TUR) - Teymuraz GABASHVILI (RUS) [2] 6-2 6-4, 2R: 2. kolo: Andrey GOLUBEV (KAZ) 6-3 5-7 3-6;  Italy, Florence, junior ITF, 44th City of Florence, Grade 2, clay, outdoor: 1QR, Nina STANKOVSKA (SVK) - Milena JEVTOVIC (ITA) 6-2 6-0, 2QR: Denise VALENTE (ITA) 6-3 6-2, Qualifying Final: Valentina GAGGINI (ITA) [8] 6-4 6-3, 1R: Matilde MARIANI (ITA) 3-6 4-6; Anning, China, ATP Challenger, $162,480 +H, KUNMING OPEN, clay, outdoor: 1R, Andrej MARTIN (SVK) - Fajing SUN (CHN) 6-3 6-1, 2R: Dennis NOVAK (AUT) 6-1 6-1, 3R: Nikola MILOJEVIC (SRB) 1-6 7-6(0) 1-6.

Shymkent, Kazakhstan, ITF World Tennis Tour, Shymkent Open, 15 000 USD, clay, outdoor: 1R, Kamilla RAKHIMOVA (RUS) - Ekaterina MAKLAKOVA (RUS) 6-4 6-2, 2R: Anna UKOLOVA (RUS) 4-6 6-3 6-4, QF: Victoria DEMA (UKR) 6-4 7-6(5), SF: Gozal AINITDINOVA (KAZ) [1] 5-7 6-7(7); Shymkent, Kazakhstan, ITF World Tennis Tour, Shymkent Open, 25 000 USD, clay, outdoor: 1R, Artem DUBRIVNYY (RUS) - Markos KALOVELONIS (RUS) 6-1 6-4, 2R: Aleksandre METREVELI (GEO) 6-0 6-4, QF: Roman SAFIULLUN (RUS) 4-6 2-6; 1R, Ergi KIRKIN (TUR) - Teymuraz GABASHVILI (RUS) [2] 6-2 6-4, 2R: 2. kolo: Andrey GOLUBEV (KAZ) 6-3 5-7 3-6;  Italy, Florence, junior ITF, 44th City of Florence, Grade 2, clay, outdoor: 1QR, Nina STANKOVSKA (SVK) - Milena JEVTOVIC (ITA) 6-2 6-0, 2QR: Denise VALENTE (ITA) 6-3 6-2, Qualifying Final: Valentina GAGGINI (ITA) [8] 6-4 6-3, 1R: Matilde MARIANI (ITA) 3-6 4-6; Anning, China, ATP Challenger, $162,480 +H, KUNMING OPEN, clay, outdoor: 1R, Andrej MARTIN (SVK) - Fajing SUN (CHN) 6-3 6-1, 2R: Dennis NOVAK (AUT) 6-1 6-1, 3R: Nikola MILOJEVIC (SRB) 1-6 7-6(0) 1-6.

Andrej Martin and Daria Kasatkina became faces of the EMPIRE Tennis Academy in Trnava

Daria Kasatkina, Vladimir Platenik, Andrej Martin, EMPIRE Tennis Academy

Daria Kasatkina, 18-years old Russian player, joined EMPIRE Tennis Academy a year ago. She reached the Top 100 under head coach Vladimir Platenik, making a remarkable progress throughout this time. Andrej Martin, Slovak Davis Cup player, recently joined EMPIRE Tennis Academy. Modern Slovak academy also offers opportunity for foreign players to prepare here in Trnava.

Reasons, why Daria Kasatkina likes Trnva, are not only her recent successes, but she simply feels good here. On Sunday, she won her first 50K ITF tournament and she moved up to No. 93 in the WTA rankings. "Coach told me to win the whole tournament, so there was no other option," laughed Daria Kasatkina and she continued: "Of course I am very happy, because it is my biggest tournament I ever won. It is a new and very positive experience. I like my coach Vladimir Platenik, who is a real tennis expert. I found a good team in Trnava, and our co-operation works well. At the same time, I like it here, courts are great, and same can be said about the club," she said about her spell at the academy. Her personal coach Platenik sets achievable goals for her. "Our goal before the season was Top 200, we are in Top 100. It is absolutely great, but next season in WTA will be much more difficult. It will be important to be prepared for it, so that Daria can play at higher level. We will play WTA and ITF tournaments."

Andrej Martin will also practice in Trnava

Slovakian Davis Cup player Andrej Martin signed contract with EMPIRE Tennis Academy recently. He is at the moment, No. 155 in the ATP singles rankings. "I accidentally met with Vladimir Platenik, who offered me to join academy in Trnava, because he works here. Both club and I can only profit from our co-operation. I look forward it," said Andrej Martin for ww.empire-tennis-academy.com website.

Throughout this year, Martin has made an agreement with coach from Chile, Francis Stuard, who is in charge of Hans Podlipnik-Castillo as well, but in Trnava he has other coaches to his disposal as well. "I will play Slovak Tennis Extraleague next year for Trnava. I will be fully committed to TC EMPIRE club in Trnava and the academy. About Daria, I heard, she is doing well. She helps to create a good image about Slovak tennis, her coach and Trnava. She is sympathetic, I hope she will do well," added Andrej Martin.

Platenik: We want to help Andrej

Vladimir Platenik said more about co-operation with Andrej Martin. "When I was younger, I missed help from sponsors and coaches. Now, when I became coach, I try to pass on to players what I missed. If I see a player that belongs to the best Slovakia can offer and is struggling, I try to help him. In April, I saw that Andrej is not satisfied, we had a chat together. When he told me about his situation, I saw no reason why he could not play for Trnava," said Vladimir Platenik. Head coach of EMPIRE Tennis Academy knows life of a professional tennis player outside Top 100 is not easy at all. "Every tennis player outside Top 100, plays around four leagues a year, spends few weeks there. It is tiring. Players then fund their professional careers from this income, but it is an ongoing circle. Difficult to get out of it.  We want to help him."

Miloslav Grolmus was with Andrej Martin in July at the Challenger in Padova, tournament which Andrej Martin won. Now, he is going to play in Roma and another academy coach, Rene Hanak, will join him. "He has coaching staff, sparing, courts, and physio – all to his disposal, along with fitness coach Maros Molnar. We try to make professional conditions for him," added Vladimir Platenik.

Apart of Kasatkina and Martin, there are Russians Artem Dubrivnyy and Maria Novikova in the academy and young Slovak players Tamara Kupkova, Lenka Stara, Viktor Banczi and Timea Pavlickova. Vivien Juhaszova, Oliver Nagy and 14-year old Ukrainian Semen Burlachenko are also members. Together with Platenik, Hanak and Grolmus, coaching staff consists of Jaroslav Bulant, Juraj Jancovic, Kamil Capkovic and Martin Durdik.

Photos by: 
Milan Hutera, Tennis Arena

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