LOVE 4 TENNIS topic: Organizing of the national tournaments in Slovakia and Czech Republicl4tAdmin
Czech and Slovak tennis have many differences, including number of courts, its quality and interest of young people and children, competition, organisational side of tournaments and we could continue naming more and more. I would like to concentrate on the last point mentioned. It is a topic I can talk about, I played tennis in both countries and I have experience I would like to share.
I would start by comparing number of tournaments in Czech Republic and Slovakia. During the whole winter season in Slovakia, there are around 20 men’s tournaments and from 7 to 10 women’s national tournaments. In Czech Republic they play such number of tournaments in one month! For some years there are no national championships (only international). In Czech Republic they are organized year by year, what’s more, prize money are worth it. Similarly to other Czech tournaments starting from Category B – for example there is well known Optim Tour in Northern Czech based on Masters system, with different cities hosting tournaments. Best players overall advance into the finals. Such system helps competition, allows professional players to keep in game rhythm, when they are preparing for the tournaments.
Home tournaments in Czech Republic feature high quality ranking, with ATP or WTA ranking (e.g. winner of Indoor National Czech Championship Michalicka is ATP No. 293).
In Slovakia, tournaments are not attended by quality players, they rather travel to play at international tournaments. During the period, when there are no tournaments played in surrounding countries, Slovakian players have no option to stay in match rhythm in home environment. Tournaments are being organized but they are not attractive for professional players, they do not have motivation to play there.
This situation has further effects. Junior players have no chance to gain experience and make their way further up into the adult’s tennis. When they finish playing in youth categories, they often have problems with the transition into the adult’s tennis and with the international competition being on high level there. Because of little experience, they often lose their matches, which causes lack of confidence and motivation and in some cases it even leads to retirement from professional tennis. These former players do not attend even home tournaments. It would help juniors to play against these former players or at least to have them as sparring.
This is one of the many differences between Slovakian and Czech tennis. There are conditions and assumptions for Slovakian tennis to develop, but current situation in organizing tournaments needs to improve at least to the level of Czech Republic.
Author: Matej Klobusovsky, L4T coach