World No. 48 Ilya Ivashka revealed his father wanted him to do martial arts but he didn't really like it as he was scared that he was going to break something. Ivashka, 27, turned professional in 2013. Ivashka enjoyed his breakthrough season on the Tour this year as he captured his maiden ATP title in Winston-Salem, as well as achieved a career-high ranking of No.
43 in the world. “It is funny because my father wanted me to do martial arts,” Ivashka told the ATP Tour website. “I started but I didn’t really like it because I was so scared I was going to break something, so I didn’t want to go and I didn’t like to fight.
“My dad was playing tennis with his friends and he was always taking me and I saw it and liked it, so I asked him if I could play tennis. Then my parents helped me and have been there all of my life to help me find coaches and put me in good tennis centres to improve and it went naturally”.
Ivashka happy with his consistency
Consistency played a key part in Ivashka having his best season on the ATP Tour in 2021. Ivashka also made ATP semiifnals in Munich and Nur-Sultan. “I have been quite consistent this year and coming through qualifying all the year I have been competing well and giving my best,” he said.
“I was improving week by week and it didn’t matter if I won or lost. I was feeling very good in Winston-Salem. “I think I have improved a little bit mentally, which helps me to be more consistent and fight for every match.
It doesn’t matter about your ranking because at this level you can beat anybody or lose to anybody”. Ivashka is still relatively young and he will be hoping to continue his rise in 2022.