“There were several meetings online with the organization, to try to create a bubble inside the bubble with these 72 tennis players. For example, train only between them. But health officials did not approve. In the meantime they gave us some training material and I am exercising, online, with my fitness coach. I also talk to my trainer, who is isolated in another room. Although I try to stay in shape, of course I will be at a disadvantage compared to others because I cannot train normally. “
The tennis player leaves solitary confinement on Saturday January 30, and two days later begins his participation in one of the two ATP 250 tournaments leading up to the Australian Open (they take place February 1-7) , in which they will be, for example, Stan Wawrinka (n ° 18 of the ranking) or Grigor Dimitrov (n ° 19).
Frederico Silva, n ° 182 of ranking world, he saw his best moment of his career, by reaching the main draw of a Grand Slam (the four most important tournaments: Australia, USA, Roland Garros and Wimbledon). “It’s a dream come true. Last year in Paris, I was close, but I was eliminated in the last round,” he reveals.
The goal now is to make your tournament debut. “In the Grand Slam, we play the best of five games, which is new to me. It will depend on the draw, because it’s one thing to face someone in the 80th or 90th in the standings, another in the 1st or 2nd, “he says. The dream would be to play against Federer, his idol, but since he will not be in Australia, “it would be also spectacular to have Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic as opponents. But I did not want to catch them in the first round.”
Tennis, swimming, gymnastics and football
Frederico Silva started playing tennis at the age of 6, under the influence of an uncle who, after seeing him playing rackets with his father on the beach, took him to the Tennis Club in Caldas da Rainha . “I have always loved sports and until I was 11 I played tennis, gymnastics and swimming and still played football in school. Then when it started to be difficult to reconcile the tournaments and the events that I had at the same time, I opted for tennis, even because it was already having good results. “
At the age of 12, he was national champion. “Of all the times I’ve been champion, this is always the most memorable, because it was the first. That year, I also had good results at the international level, in national selections. against the best in Italy, Spain and England and realizing that I was close to their level is motivating.It was not that at the age of 12 I decided that I was going to become professional, but it gave me the strength to continue ”.
Frederico Silva was the Portuguese who stood out the most among the youngsters. In 2012, at 17, he was a finalist in the European Championship and won the US Junior Open as a couple (with Kyle Edmund). And in 2013, still with Kyle, he was champion of the junior couple at Roland Garros.
In view of his potential, will Frederico be disappointed with his career, since his best result was to reach the final of a Challenger (second level tournament, behind ATP)?
“When I left the junior circuit and started playing professional tournaments, I had a difficult first year of adjustment. When I was 20, I started to have results and to progress. ranking, but then the injuries occurred. From 21 to 24, it was basically three years wasted as I spent seven months with an injury to my left wrist, then recovered and spent another six months with issues with my right wrist. I also had to undergo an operation for an inguinal hernia, which left me without competition for another five months ”.
In the medium term, Frederico Silva aims to enter the top 100, which will give him another stability. “This gives us access to the main draw of the best tournaments, the Grand Slam and the ATP, with the right to the hotel and the fees paid, in addition to prize money much higher. I received 4,500 euros for being a finalist in the São Paulo Challenger, and I earn more than that just for spending part of the eligible of the Australian Open. I would say that a Portuguese tennis player in the top 300 has to invest to play. Being in the top 200, you can make a living from tennis. “
Ten days before the start of the Australian Open, is Frederico already experiencing this moment with anxiety? “There are tennis players who are affected by this nervousness in terms of food and rest. With me, it doesn’t start hitting until two hours before the game. I’m sure I’ll sleep peacefully on the eve of my debut in a Grand Slam. ”
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