Umag, Croatia, ATP 250, Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag, 524 340 euro, clay, outdoor: Doubles, 1R,  Igor ZELENAY (SVK)/Denys MOLCHANOV (UKR) - Pablo ANDUJAR / Gerard GRANOLLERS (ESP) 6-2 6-2, QF: Antonio SANCIC / Nino SERDARUSIC (CRO) 6-3 4-6 10-2, SF: Robin HAASE (NED) / Philipp OSWALD (AUT) 5-7 6-1 8-10; San Benedetto, Italy, ATP challenger, SAN BENEDETTO TENNIS CUP , €46,600 + H, clay, outdoor: 1R, Andrej MARTIN (SVK) - BYE, 2R: Jeroen VANNESTE (BEL) 6-2 6-4, 3R: Alexandre MULLER (FRA) 6-3 6-2, QF: Oriol ROCA BATALLA (ESP) 6-4 7-5, SF: ?-?; Piestany, Slovakia, ITF World Tennis Tour, M15 Piestany, 15 000 USD, clay, outdoor: 1R, Artem DUBRIVNYY (RUS) [4] - Yvo PANAK (CZE) 6-1 6-4, 2R: Oleksii KRUTYKH (UKR) 6-2 6-2, QF: Vladislav MELNIC (ROU) 6-7(5) 6-4 6-4, SF: Fabian MAROZSAN (HUN) 7-5 3-6 1-6; Baja, Hungary, ITF World Tennis Tour, Baja Ladies Open, clay, outdoor: 1R, Vivien JUHASZOVA (SVK) - Draginja VUKOVIC (SRB) 6-3 6-2, 2R: Darya ASTAKHOVA (RUS) 6-1 6-2, QF: Dalma GALFI (HUN) 4-6 0-6; Doubles, 1R, JUHASZOVA/Lina GJORCHESKA (MKD) [3]  - Dorka DRAHOTA SZABO (HUN) / Adrienn NAGY (HUN) 6-1 6-4, QF: Petia ARSHINKOVA (BUL) / Gergana TOPALOVA (BUL) 6-1 7-6(6), SF: Reka-Luca JANI (HUN) / Lara SALDEN (BEL) [1] 4-6 3-6; Dolany - Veska, Czech Republic, junior ITF, ITF Veska 2019, Grade 4, clay, outdoor: 1R, Radka ZELNICKOVA (SVK) [8]  - BYE, 2R: Tereza DEJNOZKOVA (CZE) 7-5 6-0, 3R: Katerina GYGALOVA (CZE) 2-6 6-2 6-2, QF: Katerina MANDELIKOVA (CZE) [1] 3-6 6-1 6-3, SF: Julie STRUPLOVA (CZE) 6-2 6-2, F: Dominika SALKOVA (CZE) WALKOVER, ZELNICKOVA WON THE TITLE!, Amersfoort, Netherlands, ATP challenger, Van Mossel Dutch Open, €46,600 + H, clay, outdoor: 1R, Uladzimir IGNATIK (BLR)  - BYE, 2R: Tim VAN RIJTHOVEN (NED) 6-4 6-4, 3R: Blaz ROLA (SLO) 4-6 6-4 0-6.

Umag, Croatia, ATP 250, Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag, 524 340 euro, clay, outdoor: Doubles, 1R,  Igor ZELENAY (SVK)/Denys MOLCHANOV (UKR) - Pablo ANDUJAR / Gerard GRANOLLERS (ESP) 6-2 6-2, QF: Antonio SANCIC / Nino SERDARUSIC (CRO) 6-3 4-6 10-2, SF: Robin HAASE (NED) / Philipp OSWALD (AUT) 5-7 6-1 8-10; San Benedetto, Italy, ATP challenger, SAN BENEDETTO TENNIS CUP , €46,600 + H, clay, outdoor: 1R, Andrej MARTIN (SVK) - BYE, 2R: Jeroen VANNESTE (BEL) 6-2 6-4, 3R: Alexandre MULLER (FRA) 6-3 6-2, QF: Oriol ROCA BATALLA (ESP) 6-4 7-5, SF: ?-?; Piestany, Slovakia, ITF World Tennis Tour, M15 Piestany, 15 000 USD, clay, outdoor: 1R, Artem DUBRIVNYY (RUS) [4] - Yvo PANAK (CZE) 6-1 6-4, 2R: Oleksii KRUTYKH (UKR) 6-2 6-2, QF: Vladislav MELNIC (ROU) 6-7(5) 6-4 6-4, SF: Fabian MAROZSAN (HUN) 7-5 3-6 1-6; Baja, Hungary, ITF World Tennis Tour, Baja Ladies Open, clay, outdoor: 1R, Vivien JUHASZOVA (SVK) - Draginja VUKOVIC (SRB) 6-3 6-2, 2R: Darya ASTAKHOVA (RUS) 6-1 6-2, QF: Dalma GALFI (HUN) 4-6 0-6; Doubles, 1R, JUHASZOVA/Lina GJORCHESKA (MKD) [3]  - Dorka DRAHOTA SZABO (HUN) / Adrienn NAGY (HUN) 6-1 6-4, QF: Petia ARSHINKOVA (BUL) / Gergana TOPALOVA (BUL) 6-1 7-6(6), SF: Reka-Luca JANI (HUN) / Lara SALDEN (BEL) [1] 4-6 3-6; Dolany - Veska, Czech Republic, junior ITF, ITF Veska 2019, Grade 4, clay, outdoor: 1R, Radka ZELNICKOVA (SVK) [8]  - BYE, 2R: Tereza DEJNOZKOVA (CZE) 7-5 6-0, 3R: Katerina GYGALOVA (CZE) 2-6 6-2 6-2, QF: Katerina MANDELIKOVA (CZE) [1] 3-6 6-1 6-3, SF: Julie STRUPLOVA (CZE) 6-2 6-2, F: Dominika SALKOVA (CZE) WALKOVER, ZELNICKOVA WON THE TITLE!, Amersfoort, Netherlands, ATP challenger, Van Mossel Dutch Open, €46,600 + H, clay, outdoor: 1R, Uladzimir IGNATIK (BLR)  - BYE, 2R: Tim VAN RIJTHOVEN (NED) 6-4 6-4, 3R: Blaz ROLA (SLO) 4-6 6-4 0-6.

Tereza Mihalikova, led by Hromec, will rely on fitness coach Jozef Ivanko: New man in the team

Winner of the Junior Australian Open 2015 Tereza Mihalikova (20), who is going to participate at EMPIRE Women’s Indoor 2019 tournament, had spent the entire 2018 season under the guidance of tennis coach Martin Hromec. At the end of the year, the well-known fitness coach Jozef Ivanko, strengthened the team. Ivanko worked with Top 10 players in WTA ranking already. With the new power from member of EMPIRE Tennis Academy in Trnava, there is a new hope for Mihalikova to go higher in the current season.

What did you expect from Tereza in the past season?

"It was my first season with Tereza and I had got a chance to know her very well. I know exactly what she needs to improve and what we need to work on. When we started, she was about 460th place in WTA ranking, now she is No. 353. In particular, she was playing 25 000 USD tournaments. She did not travel to 15 000 USD events after the beginning of the season. I'm regret that there was a lot of tense matches with having real chance to win, but she lost afterwards. Expectations were higher, but we're working hard and we're going to try to be better another year."

New face in the team is the well-known fitness coach Jozef Ivanko, who worked with famous players like Kvitova or Cibulkova. What do you expect from him?

"We can do a lot of improvement in the fitness area and we've been looking for someone who could travel with her and make drill with her every day. Tereza also had a solid fitness coach Kristian Cupak earlier, but he can not travel a lot with her. Jozef can do it and it should bring results and moving to higher places."

Was it difficult to persuade him to cooperate?

"We talked to Tereza’s father how to create optimal conditions for her training. Jozef has time to help and accepted our offer. It was a good choice. I think he is a person who could help her a lot in the field of fitness."

Will you travel together to tournaments?

"We will share them, but for most of them I will be with Tereza. When we travel for a longer series of tournaments, Jozef will, of course, come with us. We will make agreement. Let's see how it all develops."

Was there any tournament during last season you said by yourself you are with Tereza are on the right track?

"There were things in the past that limited her play. We worked together on several things. I do not know if Tereza had been feeling the great pressure since I started training, but I only expected from her to fight, to put everything on the court. I wanted just to be as good as during training hours, to get as close as possible to these moments also during the match. When she will be able to do, better results will come. Fear and doubt have no place in tennis. You need to play as easy as it possible. Without pressure. I loved the most her effort during tournament in India at the end of the year on the grass. She was able overturned three almost lost matches. Although she was down during the games, she did not solve it so much and play her game. That’s what I want from her and I like it."

How you create the tournament selection for 2018 season as you were in exotic places like India, Thailand, Bahrain and Nigerian Lagos?

"It was tough decision. Of course, we would prefer tournaments that are running in Europe or as close as possible. If the player is not at least in 280th place or higher in the WTA rankings, you have problem to get to the main draw for a 25 000 USD tournament. We took what was on offer. When she will get better, she will be playing more European tournaments. I have seen many times that there was not a big difference when Tereza played with somebody who is No. 150 or No. 600. Because, when she is playing with better opponents, she plays better, too. The goal for new season is to get higher than 300th and reaching closer tournaments."

What would satisfy you in terms of progress in the coming period?

"I'm pushing her to play actively and offensively. I believe that when she will reach physically and mentally higher levels, she will improve her style of play. I really do not like the numbers, because there are a lot of players moving around the 300th, 400th place and suddenly came a better tournament for them, they gain confidence and started their run to go higher. This is also possibility for Tereza. When it gets to such a wave, she will be able to add good results. She has to believe what she does and see that it works. She must have the drive and she must want it."

You have previously trained Martin Klizan. What was it all about for you to change back to female tennis?

"Martin Klizan is currently the best and most talented player in Slovakia. The work with him is specially about tactics. Martin basically knows everything, and when he is in a good mood, he can achieve great results. Working with Tereza is about something else. She's young, she has not mastered a lot of things yet. There's a much more work with her, much more to learn. The advantage is that I can talk to Tereza about things straight. This is not a type of person who would take it amiss. Even when she takes some words personally, you don´t see it on her face. "

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