Krakow, Poland, ITF World Tennis Tour Juniors, Charlie Berszakiewicz Memorial, Grade 3, clay, outdoor: 1R, Radka ZELNICKOVA (SVK) - Rozalia GRUSZCZYNSKA (POL) 6-1 3-6 6-0, 2R: Katerina MANDELIKOVA (CZE) [7] 7-6(7) 6-3, QF: Weronika BASZAK (POL) [1] 6-3 6-3, SF: Hanne VANDEWINKEL (BEL) 6-2 6-2, F: Marketa PANACKOVA (CZE) [4] 2-6 4-6.

Krakow, Poland, ITF World Tennis Tour Juniors, Charlie Berszakiewicz Memorial, Grade 3, clay, outdoor: 1R, Radka ZELNICKOVA (SVK) - Rozalia GRUSZCZYNSKA (POL) 6-1 3-6 6-0, 2R: Katerina MANDELIKOVA (CZE) [7] 7-6(7) 6-3, QF: Weronika BASZAK (POL) [1] 6-3 6-3, SF: Hanne VANDEWINKEL (BEL) 6-2 6-2, F: Marketa PANACKOVA (CZE) [4] 2-6 4-6.

Miloslav Grolmus about Pavel Shumeiko: The emphasis will be put on his performance progress and improvement of the game

Just 18-year-old Ukrainian tennis player Pavel Shumeiko, coached by Miloslav Grolmus, has got a difficult road to climb. In the season 2018 he finished 81st in ITF rankings and if he hasn´t injured himself, he could’ve been even higher. The challenge in men´s tennis for him is enormous, but during the first year the emphasis will be put on his performance progress and improvement of the game, not the specific results.

Pavel Shumeiko had a fitness camp together with other members of the EMPIRE Tennis Academy in Samorin, south of Slovakia, in the end of 2018. "It was really good, I was very happy with the resort, hotel rooms, swimming pool. Everything was high class, it's a new resort. The meal was great as well. As far as fitness training, they were excellent trainings, not quite exhausting, but I had to work hard in them. I felt quite tired after, but just right. The main thing is to be focused on the new season. The fitness camp was also a bit of a break from tennis," Shumeiko said.

He was looking forward to this training because he had a lot of tournaments in a short run. He´d traveled to Asia with coach Grolmus, playing in Hong Kong, Thailand and finally in Israel at the end of 2018 . "The weather had changed all the time, there were different climatic conditions, it was really hot out there. When I´d had one or two long and difficult matches, I didn´t have more strength," Pavel Shumeiko admitted.

Shumeiko now wants to improve and work hard to be able to face the men´s tennis players after the juniors´ years. The advantage for an 18-year-old youngster is that for the year 2019 the points system has changed. It´s called Transition Tour. When the junior finishes in the Top 100 of the ITF rankings, he will have the chance to play the men's ITF tournaments (in the main draw thanks to wild card). "Even though I´d had the points from the men's tournaments from the old ITF circuit, I would had to play singles qualifying rounds. We´d also chosen a longer pre-season preparation, from December to mid-February, to prepare well for new goals," he explained.

His coach Miloslav Grolmus wants to see more progress after the junior career. "He has great potential to improve physically. Pavel has a big plus in that he can go through pain and overcome it. He is disciplined. The young generation, however, often wants immediate results, but that´s not so easy. I'm just teaching him to be patient, to learn day by day and to improve individual aspects of the game. He is 18-years old and some technical things can´t be changed right away, it takes time. We have to work on it so that he can put up with the small mistakes that are part of the game. I teach him to be professional," Grolmus said about his player.

Pavel achieved the greatest success under the coaching of Grolmus in 2018 . However, they did not have much time to work systematically except the 2017/2018 winter season. "He won two high-quality indoor tournaments in Senec, Slovakia and Ukraine, because of good pre-season preparation. I’ve started to work with Pavel as my first player in the second half of the year. Unfortunately, when he got injured, he´d had the bone inflammation. Following a junior Wimbledon qualifying to the main draw, when he was a lucky-loser, his hand got swollen. Pavel couldn´t play the match, which was a great pitty," said Grolmus, but it´s important that Shumeiko stayed in the Top 100 of the ITF rankings.

"But I'm glad he´s played the junior doubles too. He´d won in Belgium, then added the debut semifinals and the finals at the end of the season. By these results he secured No. 81 in ITF combined rankings. If he were healthy, he would have been 10 rankings higher, and if I could had been with him for the whole year, he would have had end up Top 50. The result is pretty good, but we have to work on the game, there are still some gaps. We’ve got the time for improvement."

It´s obvious of course from the season and success that priority will be given to the hard courts tournaments, whether indoors or outdoors. "We´ve decided we´ll plan my program mostly on hard courts. I´ve got better serve on hard, and forehand and backhand as well. Most of the year is played on hard anyway. I want to improve both my tennis game and the physical part of it, to raise my level of game," said the player of EMPIRE Tennis Academy who compliments working with coach Miloslav Grolmus or Trnava´s club & academy.

"He is a great coach, self-starter and tough. He wants me to be focused 100 percent all the time. He always analyzes what mistakes I´ve made in practice and what I have to do to in order to not making them again. I have to listen to him and sweat it in practice. It’s been hard work. But I understand that only that can bring results. He will be spending more time with me now and travelling to the tournaments," said Pavel while talking more closely about the resort at EMPIRE Tennis Academy. "Trnava´s got a quality academy, everything under one roof, wide scale of players . It's better than in Ukraine. There are very good courts, four new ones had been added into a new building. I like it here, because people in Slovakia are close to the Ukrainians, we’re not so different," he explained.

Grolmus would like to be with his player at least two tournaments every month. "In some tournaments I will be assisted by our other coach Patrik Fabian. I´ve explained to Pavel that the first year would be flexible. He´s not a favorite, he can use wild cards in the main draws. He should focus on performance progress and game improvement. He shouldn´t be under pressure. We will not put the emphasis on results until the 2020 season. He certainly has the potential to be a great player," concluded Miloslav Grolmus.

In September 2018, Shumeiko got a great opportunity to practice with the Ukrainian Davis Cup team, for which he was very grateful. "I felt good there, we were at Kiev. They invited me because I was the best Ukrainian junior in the rankings. They didn´t ride the high horse towards me. They were friendly, trying to help me. I could ask whatever I wanted. There was a great energy, I was practising, I had sparring partners. Ukraine’s got a problem because players like Sergiy Stakhovsky or Marchenko, are thirty-years-old, and soon end up their careers in Davis Cup. And we need new players,” he described positive experience.

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