Karol Beck helped Artem Dubrivnyy once again to move up in the ATP rankings

Russian tennis player Artem Dubrivnyy (19) has been in Trnava since 2014. After a successful junior career, he produced solid performances in senior category too, as he has reached the Top 600 in the ATP singles ranking. "Artem needs to play challenging matches to be physically more resilient. However, his approach is more professional right now. He understands everything he has to sacrifice to play better," says his coach Karol Beck, former singles world No. 36. Beck is now starting his third year of co-operation with Artem Dubrivnyy.

Karol, how was your season 2018 with Artem?

"It was good. I am trying to help Artem Dubrivnyy as much as possible. I travelled with him as much as I could. Since the beginning of the season he produced solid performances, but then came injuries unfortunately. It was tough also for me. But later came once again better times. So, globally, my satisfaction with the whole season is about 60 percent."

You are traveling quite a lot, like when you were a professional tennis player…

"I've been traveling since I was fifteen. Sometimes long time flights are easy for me, but sometimes it comes to me as eternity. I'm not looking forward to it. I have mixed feelings, but it must be taken as part of a tennis life. Now I have other duties in charge, for example, to arrange sparring for Artem, take care about tennis balls and other things he needs."

Is it tougher for you to have, especially when you have a family and a little girl?

"Sure, it's not easy. I'd like to be more at home, but it's my job. I enjoy it and it's good that my girlfriend accepts it."

Artem won two titles ITF titles in 2018, in February and in July. Did he fulfil your expectations?

"Before the season I had secret plan, that I did not even tell him. I was thinking about No. 450 and higher. He started very well with a tournament victory in Moscow. But, from May to July, he suffered from back pain. It was a pity, because it stopped his progress for a while. Even in Georgia, where he won his second tournament of the year, his back was not good. He had to put himself together. Basically he took the title without fitness training there. At the end of the year, his back did not bother him and was able to add some points again. I believe, without injuries my expectations could be fulfilled."

Where do you see his greatest progress?

"He started to understand more, what he needs to play. He could not be a player who just tries to keep the ball in the game and wait for the opponent's mistakes. He must play actively, enter the court and made more net pressure. We are still working on his tactical perception of the game. He has reserves and he knows it. He has to deal with stressful and key situations during the match. He needs to play challenging matches to make him physically more resilient. However, his approach is more professional right now. He understands everything he has to sacrifice to play better."

How is changing his tennis?

"He has improved, his shots are faster. We have worked also with various situations on the court to have more possibilities of play. He limited easy mistakes. In some matches, he had a good start, he played accurately, actively, felt it himself, too. But it also happened that this level of play vanished in the upcoming moments sometimes. And when this happened, he began to deal more about what is going on, why he stopped to be successful."

How is his fitness?

"It's okay, he trained more and more. He had to add more in stretching and compensative exercises. He starts to understand better what he has to do to keep fit and avoid injuries. He missed EMPIRE Tennis Academy fitness preparation camp in the end of the year, because he had to go to Russia, where he was tested by tennis federation."

Dubrivnyy arrived in Trnava in 2014 with Daria Kasatkina. He is still here, cooperating with you more than two years. Why he is still in Slovakia?

"The first thing is, he has a long-term contract with the EMPIRE Tennis Academy. He was also satisfied with the work I'm doing with him. Cooperation between us is going well, although we have tough times too, but everybody has it. I personally see his progress and I liked to help him. I want to get him as high as is possible, higher than he is now."

Do you see Russian players different comparing to Slovaks?

"They are very strong-willed, they have fighting spirits and courage. They're a little more temperamental, more explosive, but ambitious. This attributes sometimes lacks our players – they need more motivation, setting goals and playing more aggressively."

How do you set a tournament selection for new season?

"Artem played more or less the ITF Futures. Even in the new season, we'll start at the ITF World Tennis Tour, but it all depends on how he will feel when we start pre-season preparation and how will be our progress."

What is your wish for 2019 and what do you wish for Artem?

"I wish he avoid injuries. When he can’t play, it's more difficult for him and for coach. I wish he would be able to jump on a higher level during the year - to play challengers and play equal game with the players at this level. With a new points system, it will be harder for him, but I really believe he will be successful from the start of the season. Since the start he will play indoor tournament, because hard surface suits him well. We will also try to adapt the schedule of tournaments to this fact."

What do you say about new facilities in EMPIRE Tennis Academy?

"It is important that 4 new courts opened and the building is ready for the players. It's a big hall, a big project. We are satisfied that the spaces we can use are at the top level now."

Photos by: 
Ivan Kopčáni, www.empire-tennis-academy.com

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