Tennis - Russian Tennis Federation chief Shamil Tarpischev says it is difficult to tailor the training programme according to an individual player for the Russians as they have an annual budget of up to $5 million as compared to a budget of $225 million for the United States Tennis Association.
In an interview with Realnow Vremlya, Tarpischev says, "For instance, the US Tennis Federation's budget is $225m, while we solve our problems having $5m at our disposal. This doesn't allow us to fully develop those promising tennis players who win all team competitions in the juniors in many aspects.
Why? If the preparation of a young athlete costs about $50,000, a professional spends €200,000 a year. This is why only those who are in the top 80 in the world can earn from tennis. But here we should say that only Russia has state-based tennis preparation in the whole world.
We have the Russian State University of Physical Education, Sports, Youth and Tourism in Moscow, the Moscow State Academy of Physical Education in Malakhavka near Moscow, the Lesgaft university in Petersburg and the Volga Tennis Academy in Kazan.
This also bears fruits, as we should talk about systematic training. We work with targets, while many tennis academies continue working ''with a flow''. Tarpischev also says that the Russian Federation would be implementing a new programme aimed at supporting lower ranked players.
"The federation will implement a programme to support low-income young tennis players whose budget is about $1m a year. This became possible thanks to the help of one of the friends of the federation, I don't have the right to make his last name public.
But not just children from low-income families will get targeted support but those who are promising, which will be proved by corresponding scientific testing." Looking ahead to the next Olympic Games where Russia would be hoping to repeat its gold medal success in the doubles, Tarpischev says, "The situation looks like a conflict of interests from the very beginning.
To become a strong doubles player, a player should play only in doubles. But the problem is to be in the team of Olympians, which directly depends on the current singles rankings. This means players have to play in singles. One needs to participate in singles in many tournaments, though the least number of competitions can be chosen – 18 tournaments.
In about a third of them, the players will lose early. Consequently, one has to apply for at least 30 tournaments, which is about 34-36 weeks a year. But focusing on singles, how can one count on a high doubles rankings?" Speaking on the Russian players, Tarpischev says, "Nowadays Karen Khachanov has already formed as an athlete and is ready to play.
Daniil Medvedev still lacks muscle mass, he needs more time. While Andrey Rublev was treating an injury getting into his best shape. We've not chased a result in the Davis Cup in the last years but tried to complete the process of preparation of our talented youth.
But a drawback of the current youth is that they listen little or have bad hearing. Simply explaining some things trying to deliver them to a pupil is more complicated than when he goes through it first-hand. For this reason, we dedicated time to gain this experience.
For instance, we won Spain in a match that was in Vladivostok. In addition, this game became first in history when Spain lost holding the lead 2-0 during the match. As for women, there is plenty of young players. There is Daria Kasatkina, she is bright but at the moment she is lacking speed endurance and she isn't looking quite well in matches with hitting players.
There is Anastasia Potapova, others, but there aren't any leaders. Sharapova will start preparing for the Olympic Games too. If she doesn't lose speed, nobody will be able to beat her. I will note that now women's tennis doesn't have leaders, and Masha can win in good circumstances."