Andrej Martin, EMPIRE Tennis Academy member, won two challengers in singles this year in Italy (Padova, Biella) and he would like to add another one. He will have perfect opportunity in South America, where he travelled this year. He will play at five challengers - Santiago, Lima, Bogota, Buenos Aires and Montevideo and if he succeeds, he has a chance to join ATP Challenger Tour Finals in Sao Paolo, Brazil in November, with total prize money reaching 220K USD.
Why did you choose tournament series in South America?
"This season, I have realized I can do better on clay. I decided for clay tournaments also because I will be together with my doubles partner Hans Podlipnik-Castillo and his coach in South America. We will be there as a team, will play doubles with Hans at every tournament. It is also part of preparations for ATP Challenger Tour Finals, where I want to qualify."
How do you see your chances to qualify?
"I do need one good result to qualify. If I could win one more tournament, I have a solid chance of playing in Sao Paolo."
What about ATP Slovak Open in Bratislava in November?
"I do not want to play at hard event without preparation on hard courts. This year, I did give it a try with South American series of tournaments - it is first time in my life, we will see if it was a good decision."
What are the references about tournaments you will play at in South America?
"I heard very positive words about them, maybe even better than some tournaments in Europe. Conditions are very similar to Italy, which suits me. I am curious myself, how it will turn up."
Who was your sparring before leaving for South America?
"I played with Matej Buril. I also trained in LOVE 4 TENNIS Academy and I worked with Rene Hanak from EMPIRE Tennis Academy in Trnava. It was a mix of both, as lot of guys already play on hard courts, but still we managed to have a very positive preparation."
How do you feel about your game?
"To feel confident, you need to win matches. Maybe my confidence is not as high as after winning challengers in Italy, but it can always turn around after few matches. One needs motivation and results to build confidence."
It was very cold during the week in Bratislava, temperatures were only a bit higher than five degrees...
"To play in that cold weather outside, it was bit difficult, but the more difficult during training, the easier at tournaments. I tried to make positives out of it. It is at least some fun and a change, if the conditions are changing. I had time to solve different things,which I did not have time to solve during the year, when I was travelling around the tournaments. There was lot to do."
Your main goal until the end of the season is ATP Challenger Tour Finals?
"Yes and I want to make some points ahead of Australian Open so I can make it into the main draw in singles there."