A rare event: 8 IBS players play in the same age group. The IBS Tennis Academy by Thomas Enqvist jumped on the opportunity and took them to the ITF Europe Junior Pre-Qualifier U18 from October 10-14, 2022. The players were ranked between 15.2 and 1.6.
Part of the trip:
Coach: Vivien Cabos,
Players: Amou Bing, Yves Rintercknecht, Alessandro Bertolina, Charles Leguillon, Mila Charles, Victoria Nivelle d’André, Alexandra Quinn and Martin Pinto.
Tennis-wise, the experience was very good. The group effect outside the parental context was a novelty for most. The atmosphere had a special flavor to it that everyone responded to differently. Mila felt that she had not come this far to lose and the added pressure did not help her performance. The experience will serve. Yves went out in the second round with a good first game but found himself tense. The coach analyzes: “with the encouragement of colleagues, we want to do better and by wanting to do too well, the body gets tense. Well, not for everyone: Amou, the youngest, passed two rounds easily by winning two matches above her level and got her opponent of three rankings above her to take her out with difficulty in 4 hours by losing the third set 6/4. Like Amou who comes from China, Alexandra Quinn, the oldest of the group, arrives from abroad. This dynamic Canadian reached the semi-finals of the tournament. Her goal is to become a professional player. Thanks to this tournament, she was able to compete with the best players from the South East of France. It was also an opportunity for everyone to see good women’s matches which are rather rare in the region.
This week was beneficial for the integration of the new students both in terms of sports support and human relations and everyone discovered themselves in a different light, living together as a group of 9 in the house that the Tennis Academy had reserved. Our coach Vivien made them responsible for all the tasks and Charles’ ability to manage the meals was remarkable. He designed the menus, did the shopping and cooked lasagna and memorable home-made burgers. Our players enjoyed spending time together, aware of what they needed to do to be at their best on the course. Two days before the beginning of the tournament, the program was physical in the morning on the beach with different circuits than usual and tennis training in the afternoon. Then, the organization was centered on the matches of everyone, with a training before the first match of the day and then each one was in charge of warming up those who were going to play their match, so everyone could play and at the same time help the others to prepare. One afternoon, we took them out to play golf. Charles became a coach to show Amou how to hold a club. Team cohesion was established.
Since then, some of them wanted to recreate the spirit of the tournament by going to play together during the vacations, so much they liked this new experience.
Thank you to the sport study section for allowing the players to leave for a week of competition far from school, serene in the face of the adapted school workload before and after the tournament.
Sports Studies Coordinator