Lenka Stara, Empire Tennis Academy member, has played in Wimbledon

Some members of Trnava’s EMPIRE Tennis Academy fought in Wimbledon grandslam lawn tournaments, which is played in July in Great Britain with prize pot of 34 million pounds. Lenka  Stara from Slovakia has played in the junior singles main round and she advanced to the second round of the tournament. Stara had met also with Switzerland star Roger Federer. Trnava´s academy had two representatives of the junior tennis – beside of Lenka Stara there were also Ukrainian Pavel Shumeiko, who advanced to the second qualification round.

Lenka Stara taking part in the prestigious Wimbledon for the first time in her career. “I was looking forward, because grass is a surface I really like to play. It´s fast, atmosphere is great, so for players and coaches. It´s a fun, cool. I like been there more than on the recent Roland Garros, whether you consider environment or organization of the tournament. We had also a meeting to explain everything for us. It was all about clothing, behavior, physiotherapy, doping, rules and so many things. The people were nice and willing, they all had patience with us,” described her feelings Lenka Stara, who is coached by Martin Durdik.

Young Slovak player started well as she beat Russia Sofya Lanserer 7-5, 6-0. “I played solid game and had to be satisfied with the clash. Sofya was in the lead 4-1, played good and fast. But I was able to win the next two games and with the score 3-4 I started dictating the game. I did what I want. Second set I was better even I need to be careful and concentrating to the end of the game,” added Lenka Stara, who was supported by Slovak coach Vladimir Platenik and also another member of EMPIRE Tennis Academy Belinda Bencic.

“It was a great experience for me, there were so many people in the crowd. Also my mom with the coach, I am glad. Overall, I played here better comparing previous tournament. It´s faster, I appreciate this,” said Lenka Stara , who was eliminated in the second round by one of the American girls in the tournament.

Durdik: One of the best Lenka games

"I think it was one of Lenka's best games ever. She showed she is able to prepare for tough match and play well. As we know her opponent, we had said few basic things before the games and Lenka really stick on them. She played simple with focus on the ball and with passion. The most important thing is that she survived the critical moments of play and did not let the rival go back into the game,” said her coach Martin Durdik.

Although Stara was down 1-3 and 3-5 during the first set, she was able to overcome it. "Lanserer has played fast, aggressive, but Lenka got used this pace, found her own speed and starts to dominate. One of the key moments was her good service and active play from the baseline together with her good returns and also movement,” continued her coach.

“I have no reason to start to find bad things in her play. It was just her second game on the grass and she played against opponent, who was on 14-th place in the junior singles ranking earlier. Now she is in the Top 50. She has good place also on WTA ranking (492), but Lenka managed it very well,” add Martin Durdik.

Meeting with the stars (Federer, Nadal, de Potro)

"When we returned from the training, we saw on three courts besides how Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal trains on them. On the next was Juan Martin Del Potro. It was amazing to see all of them together. All juniors, coaches and parents watched their practice and especially the Federer´s. When he finished, Roger was coming out of the court, and everyone gathered around to had photo with him. So, we were successful too and he wished to me good luck,” said Lenka Stara .

Promising Slovak girl had luck also in Paris, where she met Nadal and del Potro. “We were on training courts, waiting to start and suddenly came Nadal security guys and after them Nadal sparring partner. And after him Nadal personally. So I made one picture with him, if there was such a chance. As about del Potro I had met him after the training. He was very kind. At the main stadiums where the stars are playing, it's hard to get, but we were lucky, we saw also Daria Kasatkina from our academy. The stadiums are terribly large, but even if you are not right at the court but also somewhere up there, it's a great experience."

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