ATP University Salutes Latest Graduating Class
The top eight players in the ATP Race to London are rewarded by competing at the Nitto ATP Finals, but several other ATP Tour players received their own reward this week in the same city.
A group of 14 players graduated from ATP University on Wednesday after completing a three-day course designed to give them the skills to succeed on Tour. The educational session is held twice per year and offers a range of presentations covering topics including savings and investments, media training, social media and anti-doping. An ATP IQ competition testing players on their knowledge from the course was held on the final day, with Slovak Andrej Martin prevailing and Pole Kamil Majchrzak finishing in second.
“I have really enjoyed the time with the other players and the ATP. It was a great three days,” said Majchrzak. “I could refresh the knowledge that I have and learn a few new things, so it was very useful. I especially loved the presentation from the Winston-Salem Open tournament director [Bill Oakes].”
Over 1,000 past and present ATP Tour players have graduated from the program. Any player in his first year of ATP World Tour Division I membership is required to attend ATP University. Players inside the Top 200 of the ATP Rankings and Top 100 of the ATP Doubles Rankings are eligible for the membership.
“I really enjoyed it. It was very nice to meet [everyone] from the ATP and to see how things work,” said Martin. “It was very nice to see the other players and get to know them better. It’s an occasion where we don’t play tennis, so the guys are more open and free. It’s nice to become a group with them.”
“It’s a recognition of getting somewhere with your tennis. You’re playing at a similar level and there are benefits to that membership, but also responsibilities that come with the life on Tour,” said Diego Pedraza Novak, Coordinator, Player Communications. “Whether you’re new on Tour or older and just getting [the membership] now, it’s a unifying thing.”
The highlight for many players in attendance was Carlos Moya, former World No. 1 and current coach of Rafael Nadal, kicking off the session on Monday. Moya spoke about his time on Tour and what it’s like to work with the 19-time Grand Slam champion.
“Just to get some insight into what [Nadal] is doing post-match, before the match, after getting to the final of a Grand Slam… You begin to think that these are things we should be picking up and putting into our routines as well,” said South African Lloyd Harris. “It’s small things from different categories that you can pick up and use.”
But it wasn’t all lectures and presentations during the three days. The players also made their way to The O2 on Tuesday night to take in the action at the season-ending championships.
“It was pretty fun. I enjoyed it and had three good days there,” said Pole Hubert Hurkacz. “I had a chance to learn many things about tennis and the ATP. I’ll remember it as being quite important and fun.”
The London 2019 graduates included Harris, Hurkacz, Majchrzak, Molleker, Sousa, Martin, Liam Broady, Roberto Quiroz, Jurij Rodionov, Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, Constant Lestienne, Lorenzo Giustino, Soonwoo Kwon and Cheng-Peng Hsieh.