St. Petersburg, Russia, WTA Premier, St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, 823 000 usd, hard, indoor: 1R, Daria KASATKINA (RUS) - BYE, 2R: Maria SHARAPOVA (RUS) walkover, QF: Vera ZVONAREVA (RUS) 3-6 6-7(3).

St. Petersburg, Russia, WTA Premier, St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, 823 000 usd, hard, indoor: 1R, Daria KASATKINA (RUS) - BYE, 2R: Maria SHARAPOVA (RUS) walkover, QF: Vera ZVONAREVA (RUS) 3-6 6-7(3).

Miloslav Grolmus appreciates the attitude of his Japanese trainee Ken Onishi: We are working on his weapons

Miloslav Grolmus leads the 21-year-old Japanese tennis player Ken Onishi from May 2017. The former No. 28 ITF junior is on a way to his career maximum. "He was very compact when he arrived, but he did not have any weapon. That is our goal what we're working on now. In men's tennis, there is no secret, the player must have a good forehand on clay," says Grolmus, who wants Ken to hit the challenger category in the new season, and has already managed the Futures level.

You cooperated with Ken Onishi since May 2017. What is the difference between Ken from May and Ken in December 2017?

"First of all I want to say that Ken was solid in May when he came. Japanese coaches made it easy for me, he come up very technically prepared. He was very compact, but he was missing a gun for what we do. In male tennis, there is no secret, the player must have a great forehand on clay. For instance, he has a very good kick. We also focus on the length of strike. His style will always be that he needs to the opponents to hold back, have to go with them over long rally and lay them down. He is getting used to it. At some of the tournaments that we were in Asia at the end of the year, he played great forehand, but he is not used to it yet. We want him to be confident in it."

What are you still working on?

"On physical condition. In November he was at a fitness camp in Liptovsky Jan. I think that with regard to his dynamics on the court, he has the great potential in this. It must be dynamic, explosive. When he wants to be a top player, he must be an animal. In the season he played two semi-finals, overcame several tennis players around No. 300 in the ranking, but he said himself he needed to move up physically. His matches are long sometimes, sometimes two and a half up to three hours. Having played a semi-finale after such a game, the problem is to keep the rally. When he is physically fit, he will be able to play 5-6 matches in one week. Week after week. This is what wins the match."

What is his approach to training and the match?

"He has discipline, he has clear goals and he stands behind them. At his age he is very clever. He can plan many things himself, think ahead. Many players are still in puberty at his age, it does not apply to him. He's a professional, he's doing a lot of things alone. At times, of course, we have talks when something is not going the way we want, why it has not been possible to work on it. He thinks and communicates, asks. That's fine, because I have my feedback. "

What was the most positive experience for you in 2017?

"It was a stay in Asia at the end of the season and his family's behaviour towards me. In the second tournament in Malaysia, he played the semi-finals after he did not get well in the first tournament and went through a tiny crisis. I appreciate this. He was able to play on the hard courts to play aggressively, made points with forehand, with solid net play. The game had dynamic and aggressive parameters. The last match of the season was played with a friend in the doubles at the Kobe Challenge. They played in the quarterfinal on center court against the favourite players, later winners McLachlan / Uchiyam and he played excellent."

How did he deal with coming to Slovakia. Was that a big change?

"I think well. We have done so much for his good adaptation along with club management. This included temporary stay, visas, accommodation, travel to fitness exercises, day planning. We did everything professionally. Personally, I invited him to Slovak restaurants, tasted also halusky, pork neck, dumplings. He was interested in it. This transition also depends on how people around him can help. He is also glad to be in a small town where he has space to prepare. He is not crowded with a big city. He's not in the stress, he's relaxed."

What will be your goal next year?

"To win the Futures category, move to the Top 500 of the ATP rankings. He himself said he was not ready for this in the 2017 season. He played 18 tournaments, he was in two semi-finals, played in the quarter-finals, many of the second rounds, but there are not enough points to enter the first five hundred. We will also try to play challengers, in January we are going to Australia and he will be playing also the Japanese league. "

Where do you see his potential?

"I can't say, it cannot be predicted, he can get under unnecessary pressure. The goal is to get in the first five in 2018. But he realizes that this is not the question of one year and that he would have to fight for it."

How did you get used to traveling? Is it as much as when you played?

"Maybe more. I have been doing this work for ten years. I'm a professional coach, I don't put much thought towards it. I have to be able to respond to the demands of my protege. It is part of my profession. It is important that he would be cared for, that he has enough information from me about tactics to match, analyse, statistics, and move forward."

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