EMPIRE Tennis Academy and Mihalikova agreed on cooperation with coach Vukov

Croatian coach Stefano Vukov became in April coach of EMPIRE Tennis Academy. He will be personal coach of Tereza Mihalikova, singles winner of junior Australian Open 2015 and runner up of Australian Open 2016. „Tereza is very motivated, ambitious and very nice person, which suits my nature,“ said for  www.empire-tennis-academy.com 30-years old Stefano Vukov.

They have base in TC EMPIRE Trnava where they currently also prepare. They met for the first time in Florida local academy, where EMPIRE Tennis Academy camp under a guidance of head-coach Vladimir Platenik was held.
„We saw each other there and when everybody left for the tournaments I stayed to train with him. I quite liked it. Stefano Vukov is very professional and very ambitious. He changed my technique and now it’s getting better,“ reveals Tereza Mihalikova, currently ranked 528 in the WTA rankings.
„This year was very very bad for me. Such a bad start I did not have yet. I finished the season 2016 very early. My fitness training and camp were without racket, so it was a long period. I started to play the tournaments in Egypt in March where I played well as well as I played in previous American tournaments. I lost in USA 2 times with Ukrainian player who destroyed me even though I played well. In Egypt at ITF 15 000 in general there are awful conditions, no doubt about it. I left from Egypt with good feeling from last fourth tournament only. Finally I played well. I believe in myself that it will start now,“ added winner of 6 ITF singles events. Next for her there are 2 tournaments in Cairo.

„Naturally, I would be glad to win the tournament but even better for me would be to play and to win at least one or two rounds on some higher funded tournaments,“ concludes Tereza Mihalikova.

Vukov sought for a cooperation with prospective player

There is an interesting challenge ahead of coach Vukov that he looks forward to. „I was looking to put a little bit more of my work into a junior player. I met with Tereza, who is very motivated, ambitious and very nice person, which matches my nature as well. In Florida, we were slowly getting to know each other, seems to be working, she improved a lot. We do not set the limits, we'll see how the season goes," said Croat.
„It's very hard to make a transition from junior tennis to a professional tennis. Many more players started to compete, there is less tournaments, there is much more competition. Physically she is 18 years old, she is fully developing, fully growing up, so these next few years are where she needs to push fitness-wise. Technically she plays great tennis, confidence is sometimes missing, sometimes is there. Tereza definitely has a potential to become a Top 100 player in the world, she wants to work, so we will see how it goes,“ continues Vukov specifying aims for the next period.
„My ideal result for her would be to start competing in qualies of Grand-slams, starting from next season. So Top 200 is where I’d like to see her in a next year, but it’s not an easy road because you have to start from the lower tournaments where they don’t give lot of points so lot of matches need to be won. It’s really jungle,“ added Vukov.
Croatian coach Stefano Vukov has experience with coaching players close to TOP 200 or TOP 100 in the WTA rankings. Last he was working with American player Sachia Vickery.  „She got close to Top 100 in the world at the end of the season 2016, and it was pretty much success with her. I started coaching women only approx. 6 years ago. I was sparing-partner of Kuznecova, Rubin or Navratilova. I was coaching also Renata Zarazua, number 1 Fed-cup player in Mexico or Sofia Kenin, young American player,“ added coach.


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

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