The 25-time Grand Slam winner Martina Hingis is continuing her contribution to tennis in Switzerland, even after retiring from the high-performance sport. As an ambassador of the international Swiss Tennis Academy, she will now be able to inspire the next generation of players.
After 10 years of existence, the Swiss Tennis Academy, founded in 2009, is restructuring itself. The Academy located on the premises of the National Performance Centre of Swiss Tennis shares a first-class infrastructure on the campus with the association’s national squads along with the Davis and Fed Cup athletes from Switzerland and abroad, who train in Biel on a regular basis. The Swiss Tennis Academy is now focusing specifically on high-performance and also aims to bring a select group of foreign players, in particular from the Asian market where tennis is booming, to Switzerland.
This is where the former world number one in singles and doubles, Martina Hingis, comes in. The 39-year-old 25-time Grand-Slam winner, who also holds a coaching licence and is the coach of the Swiss national team in Fed Cup, will start her role as an ambassador immediately. «I’m absolutely delighted to once again be able to play a more active role in Swiss tennis», says the mother of an eight-month old daughter. “In my mother’s academy I learnt what a difference good coaching can make and I’m very happy that I will be able to accompany many young players on their way forward together with the ambitious team at the Swiss Tennis Academy.”
René Stammbach, President of Swiss Tennis, is looking forward to the new ambassador for the Swiss Tennis Academy: “The fact that Martina wants to work with us to develop the Swiss Tennis Academy further and in doing so position the location of Biel / Switzerland as a worldwide centre of competence for tennis, is not only a great honour and pleasure for us, but also shows that we are on the right path.” The best train with the best Athletes with success at an international level are already training at the Swiss Tennis Academy on a regular basis and they are able to benefit from tailor-made training, which is organised by the five-strong coaching team for the athletes. In addition to the Swiss national players, they also include the French Davis Cup player Gilles Simon, the Turkish professional Çağla Büyükakçay, the Danish world number one junior Clara Tauson and the Ukrainian child prodigy Marta Kostjuk among others. Academy athletes are also able to practice with the best Swiss squad juniors, who already train in Biel, enabling both sides to benefit ideally from this arrangement.
Small and sweet
he other strengths of the Swiss Tennis Academy are its fair price model, the support for tournaments and delegations, organisation of national and international camps together with the implementation of international association cooperation schemes run by Swiss Tennis. “Our Academy is not the largest, but is ‘small and sweet’ – this ranges from the coaching team with the highest level of qualifications to individual support for every player. With us nobody is treated as a number, but each person is supported as an athlete and individual”, says the head of the Academy, Peter Frey.
Profits flow into the next generation of Swiss players
lthough the Swiss Tennis Academy shares its infrastructure with the national association, which is one of the leading tennis associations in the world, it is financially independent from Swiss Tennis. This means that the Academy funds itself and any surpluses flow back into Swiss Tennis to promote juniors in the Swiss national squad. A successful Swiss Tennis Academy supports and therefore invests in the future of Swiss tennis.