At the age of 34, Sergiy Stakhovsky knows his career is winding down and the Ukrainian tennis player is already thinking about his future outside of tennis. Speaking to the Tennis Tour Talk website, Stakhovsky, the former World no.
31, says he has been working on a wine project for the past few years and that he would be launching his own wine later this month in Kiev. "I started the project five years ago. 2015 we rented two hectares of wineries in the Ukraine.
We re-planted, we re-structured. We planted some different wines. We gonna launch on 30th January in Kiev with two reds: one Saperavi Georgian grape and Merlot. That’s why I don’t play in Quimper. It’s a difficult business.
We have a big market in the Ukraine with only few producers but we don’t have the culture of wine drinking. So that is the challenge. I hope we are going to be part of this cultivation of wine drinking in the Ukraine. I have no idea how it’s gonna unfold.
I believe that we have a very decent product. We put a lot of effort and knowledge we could get into this project. For me it’s not a business. If we keep this project going, that’ll be fair enough for me." The Ukrainian, who is ranked No.
153 in the world, says he is not a big fan of wine but likes the process and the culture behind it. "I can’t say that I like drinking wine. I like the whole process and the culture behind wine drinking. It’s more of a healthy alcoholic product to drink.
It gives you pleasure and you can share it with friends. The whole concept of wine drinking is not about the drinking, it’s about sharing the different experiences of the same wine and the tasting with friends. I got into it through the Primrose tournament in Bordeaux.
The sponsors are very good wine producers of the region. I have been around with people involved in this very unique culture and I really love it. We are oriented 90 per cent for the Ukraine. We will be very local. Our production for Europe will only be for certain bottles.
I am trying to negotiate a stock in Bordeaux and we will have a stock in Budapest, where I currently live. We try to cover the Austrian,Slovakian, Hungarian and Czech market. I will locally bring some wine for the friends but to order it on the internet is not for now.
Maybe for the future. Stakhovsky plans to play a different schedule in 2020, and will focus on playing the qualifying draw at the ATP events rather than play too many Challengers. "It’s going to be a different season for me this year, as I will play significantly less.
I will focus on tour-level events, playing qualifications and if I am not getting in, I will not go to the Challengers. After this tournament here, I am going to Montpellier, Rotterdam and Marseille. The only Challenger I will play is Pau, as I made a commitment to my very good friend Jeremy Chardy, who is running the event.
It was also a very nice event last year. After that I will probably skip one month as the tour will be in the United States and we have a Davis Cup tie before that. So I will not travel to the States. It will be a very different season for me and very likely one of my last ones.
Finally, on his goal on the court for the 2020 season, Stakhovsky says he wants to qualify for the Olympics in Tokyo later this year. "My biggest goal for this year is to get to the Olympics. For this I have to be four months in and I need to collect about 400 points.
It’s a very feasible and reachable goal. For me it’s priority right now."