Moscow, Russia, ATP 250, VTB Kremlin Cup, 840 130 USD, hard, indoor: 1QR, Artem DUBRIVNYY (RUS) -  Ilya IVASHKA (BLR) 5-7 6-2 6-2, QFinal: Filip HORANSKY (SVK) 6-4 7-5 !!!, 1R: Miomir KECMANOVIC (SRB) 1-6 5-7; Telavi, Georgia, ITF World Tennis Tour, Telavi Open 2019, 15 000 USD, clay, outdoor: 1R, Anna SISKOVA (CZE) [2]  - Elizaveta SHEBEKINA (RUS) 6-1 6-3, 2R: Doroteja JOKSOVIC (SRB) 6-2 6-1, QF: Anastasia VDOVENCO (MDA) [6] 3-6 6-1 6-2, SF: Darya ASTAKHOVA (RUS) [5] 6-3 3-6 7-5, F: Oana Georgeta SIMION (ROU) [1] 2-6 3-6; Doubles, 1R, SISKOVA/Oana Georgeta SIMION (ROU) [2]  - Taisya PACHKALEVA (RUS) / Anastasia ZOLOTAREVA (RUS) 6-3 7-6(5), QF: Daria KRASNOVA (RUS) / Tatsiana SASNOUSKAYA (BLR) 6-2 7-6(7), SF: Darya ASTAKHOVA (RUS) / Darja SEMENISTAJA (LAT) 7-5 5-7 [10-4], F: Yekaterina DMITRICHENKO (KAZ) / Anna UREKE (RUS) [1] 6-1 6-0  DOUBLES TITLE! 

Moscow, Russia, ATP 250, VTB Kremlin Cup, 840 130 USD, hard, indoor: 1QR, Artem DUBRIVNYY (RUS) -  Ilya IVASHKA (BLR) 5-7 6-2 6-2, QFinal: Filip HORANSKY (SVK) 6-4 7-5 !!!, 1R: Miomir KECMANOVIC (SRB) 1-6 5-7; Telavi, Georgia, ITF World Tennis Tour, Telavi Open 2019, 15 000 USD, clay, outdoor: 1R, Anna SISKOVA (CZE) [2]  - Elizaveta SHEBEKINA (RUS) 6-1 6-3, 2R: Doroteja JOKSOVIC (SRB) 6-2 6-1, QF: Anastasia VDOVENCO (MDA) [6] 3-6 6-1 6-2, SF: Darya ASTAKHOVA (RUS) [5] 6-3 3-6 7-5, F: Oana Georgeta SIMION (ROU) [1] 2-6 3-6; Doubles, 1R, SISKOVA/Oana Georgeta SIMION (ROU) [2]  - Taisya PACHKALEVA (RUS) / Anastasia ZOLOTAREVA (RUS) 6-3 7-6(5), QF: Daria KRASNOVA (RUS) / Tatsiana SASNOUSKAYA (BLR) 6-2 7-6(7), SF: Darya ASTAKHOVA (RUS) / Darja SEMENISTAJA (LAT) 7-5 5-7 [10-4], F: Yekaterina DMITRICHENKO (KAZ) / Anna UREKE (RUS) [1] 6-1 6-0  DOUBLES TITLE! 

Jiri Novak: The best tournaments are being organized in Trnava

Jiri Novak, legend, TC EMPIRE Trnava, Trnava, tournaments

Former world number five, Jiri Novak (40) from Czech Republic, visited once again TC EMPIRE club in Trnava to watch all Czech players, but especially those from Prostejov, playing at junior ITF EMPIRE Cup 2016. Moreover, Jirka Novak is the one who will announce the team to fight for Galea Cup and also U18 World Championship. We used this opportunity to ask him for exclusive interview.

What is the reason for your visit in Trnava?

"I am here as a representative of Prostejov tennis club, where I train my own players, but I came here as Czech Tennis Federation representative as well. I am responsible for U18 national team. I am finalising list of players for Gael Cup and U18 World Championship. My task is to monitor players, to have a clear picture, which players to choose. So I am an observer here."

How do you rate this age category amongst boys in Czech Republic?

"Difficult question to answer, we grew up differently. When we reached the Top 100 ATP, before we have been in TOP 10 or TOP 20 of ITF ranking. At the moment, we do not have many talented boys in this age category. Patrik Rikl is one of the better ones, but obviously, he is not playing here. Then I would mention Filip Duda. Then we have more players from 300th place and below. But it is difficult to say whether they can make it one day into the top tennis or not. But as I see it, we do not have anyone like Coric, Zverev, Rublev, high up in the ATP ranking. But no one says, they cannot get there one day, when they boys are 20, 22 years old. I give them time. Tournament like the one in Trnava is great experience for all of them."

But Czech Tennis is on the rise recently…

"We have won the FED Cup and Davis Cup in recent years; we are going through good times on the top level. We are extremely strong amongst women, we can have 10 girls in top 100. We have, I think, around twenty in top 300. It is more difficult to get on the top amongst men, but we still have someone there. Let’s see how it goes in the next five years."

How many times have you been in TC EMPIRE before?

"This is my tenth visit, if I am not wrong. I was regular visitor of Challenger in September. Last year I played exhibition match with Kroslak, Kucera and Hrbaty. Before, I used to come here when I was coach of Dusan Lojda and Jaroslav Pospisil. It is not my first time at this junior tournament either."

How do you feel in Trnava?

"It is very close from Prostejov; it does not take long with a car. I am amazed by the club. World class tournaments are being organized here. I mention simple reason. One of the main advantages is the hotel close to the courts, restaurant with great food. All the facilities are under one roof. It is very rare in the world. Usually players needs time to get to the hotel. I like it here and enjoy my time in Trnava. I can park my car at the parking lot and move around in my slippers. I felt very similarly in January in Senec and I like visiting Piestany as well."

Last season you have played Slovakian first league for TK Spiska Nova Ves, and you have advanced into the top flight. Is it possible to see you in the Slovakian top league this year?

"Let’s not rush, but I don’t think so. I did not speak with anyone about this. Let’ see what happens. Last year we did it because of friendship with Peter Simcak and Daniel Trcka. Extraliga is a different competition. I will leave it up to the younger ones, to gain valuable experience."

Best players in Czech Republic play top league, including Kvitova and Berdych. In Slovakia, it is not common. What is the idea of playing in the top league in the country?

"In Czech Republic playing the league in December is ideal for all the players. It is at the end of pre-season, players can play some games before leaving to Australia, before the start of the season. This is the main reason for domestic but also foreign players to join. Competition has it’s credit. We have sponsors, broadcasters, players and fans like it. Prostejov played in the final, we had sold out crowd, although it’s true the capacity indoor is limited. I cannot speak for Slovakia, I am not completely aware of the circumstances. By the way, I played Extraleague in your country fifteen years ago in Kosice."

In our country, top players do not play Extraleague because of its schedule in May, but also other reasons play its role…

"It is a pity; you should find a compromise between players, clubs and organizers. Berdych arrived from Asian IPTL to play next day for Prostejov. It is incredible, he comes to play for his club regularly. He is aware, he could have practiced there all his life. Small children see big names play in their own country, their role models. It is a great impulse and boost for those children, as they also want to achieve playing for their clubs in the Extraleague. They have a new motivation and set themselves new goals. Everyone wants to win Wimbledon, but they need to work step by step. It starts here at home and it has a progress they all need to make in order to be successful."

Photos by: 
Tennis Arena

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