Dominika Lackova from the LOVE 4 TENNIS Academy: America is a good chancel4tAdmin
She has started to play tennis in Slovakia, but she’s playing it overseas now. Twenty years old member of LOVE 4 TENNIS Academy in Bratislava Dominika Lackova has decided to try playing tennis in the USA. She’s trying to improve her game and also her English language skills. For the love4tennis.sk website, she has discussed the reasons why she’s decided to leave Slovakia. She also explains how her tennis career is currently looking like and how she sees her future.
Why and when have you decided to study abroad in the USA?
“I started to consider studying in the USA approximately 2 years ago when I started to participate at women’s tournaments and I couldn’t uphold my game. To sum up, I have given 10 years to tennis, tennis was my whole life. School, friends and even family also had to sacrifice a lot. I needed a plan how to use my tennis skills in the future and the USA seemed to be a good chance. I really didn’t want go to USA, but my parents convinced me it’s a good step. I would say I don’t regret it today. I can do what I love, play tennis and do all the other stuff, too.”
Did LOVE 4 TENNIS help you to get to the university?
“My coach Peter Jurik helped me when I was deciding whether to go or stay in Slovakia. But everytime I come home from USA and I need to train, L4T is always there for me.”
Why did you choose Youngstown State University in Ohio?
“I decided for this university because there is very kind and amazing assistant coach there. He adressed me and kept trying to convince me until I promised to cooperate with him. I received many proposals and even from better universities, but this person persuaded me with his approach. We’re still good friends. Other universities just wrote me and that’s all. There was no personal involvement.”
What do you study there and what is your campus like?
I’m studying Bussines Economics at YSU. Campus is very big and beautiful. There is a lot of nature and it consists of many buildings; it’s a little city. I have every lesson in different building and sometimes it takes even 15 minutes till I move from one side to another.”
How often do you play university league or what kind of tournaments do you play?
“We have 2 semesters in USA and I play differently during each semester. While we play like a team in Spring semester, during Fall semester we play as individuals. In Spring semester, we play almost every weekend against other universities, in Fall semester we play 4 or 5 tournaments. I’m a number 2 in our team.”
What is your greatest success and how would you sum up your achievements?
“My biggest personal achievement is probably that I advanced from qualifying to 2nd round in the Regional championships. This tournament belongs to the biggest ones in the USA and I would compare it to $10K – $25K womens tournaments. Our biggest team achievement is the victory in Horizon League Championships. It means we won our conference and advanced to NCAA tournament. Unfortunately, we lost to university of Virginia in the first round, but they are No. 3 seeded in the USA ranking. And my results? I would say, it’s pretty good. I lost 4 matches of 25 in Spring semester and 4 of 10 in Fall semester, I guess. Reputedly, I’m a record holder at my university.”
Who is your coach there and what is the level of the university league?
“My head coach is Mickael Sopel, but I would assign myself more to our former assistant coach Jonatan Berhan, the person whom I went there for and I train more or less with him. You can find players at No. 700 or even No. 500 in the WTA rankings in the university league. Currently, the level is rising.”
How long do you want to stay? Or will you graduade there?
“I would like to complete the bachelor’s degree and it takes 4 years. Then, I’d like to enter the other university for “master degree”. That would take next 2 years. But it’s still so far away.”
Are there any other Slovak students or tennis players at university? If yes, who?
“There is just one Slovak and it’s my boyfriend. But there are the other tennis players at universities. For example: Marta Sramkova, Miska Kucharova, Nina Bubelova, Martin Blaho and many more.”
What is your study system like? What are the semesters like? When do you have free to relax?
“My study system is a little different than the system of Slovak universities. It’s something between our university and secondary school. Spring semester starts in early January and ends in early May. Fall semester lasts from the end of August till the first days of December. I have free time between them.”
You were in Slovakia lately. How often do you train in L4T and with who?
“I was in Slovakia till 7th of January and trained with Peter Jurik. I train for 1,5 hour per day.”