A Thank you Tribute to a Tennis Loving Crew

From Vesselina Jeliazkova

“Today, I am confident-
my greatest weapon as a tennis player;
I am not afraid to hit any shot;
I am a consistent player, who forces my opponent to earn every point. 
Today, I will put pressure on my opponent, by playing aggressively but under control.
I am in the Zone, and I visualize myself playing like the champion that I am.”
The Tennis Vision Statement

Confidence, consistency, control, being in the Zone, visualization and so much more goes along with being a tennis player. That’s why it is so attractive to watch and play. You become one with the player if it’s not you and feel the pressure and pleasure yourself.

If you put the top 100 tennis players in the world on one place and watch them play in practice, you will probably not be able to set apart the top ten. However, in a match play it starts to show. It is about just one more shot than your opponent each point. At any given moment things can turn around. It all comes down to having a stable mentality and handling the pressure adequately. Oh, and there is pressure in this mental game. One has to have a stable head to be able to undergo the stress that comes with this complicated sport.

Handling the distractions is ecclesial. There are plenty of those. Love affairs, personal problems, the crowd, the lack of it, what your parents told you or not and so many more things can push you to slack and miss-hit.

Thus, it is special. It is special to be number one; to be the best. It is a matter of a strong mind in a strong body.

Tennis is a Diagnose as well. Once you brew and boil in it for a while, you become addicted to this game. When in the Zone and playing your best, there is nothing like it. All the geometry and consistency that come with being in the Zone, engulfs you and there is nothing else, but you, the ball and those eleven lines that restrict you. It’s like a meditation almost; then come all the distractions that you must master as well. Those are your worst enemies and sometimes best friends and mentors as well. The formula is different for everyone. It takes a phenomenal athlete and a master mentality to make one Champion.

Apart from the adrenalin and endorphins that come with the sport, there is so much more to its nature. All that goes off the court is a lot of times so much bigger than what happens on the court; and all of it is worth the effort.

Thank you for allowing me to collaborate with this phenomenal event and crew and revive the tennis spirit that was on the verge inside of me and many more Bulgarians.
I never thought I’d be on the court, Sunday morning, before 8:30am, excited to get on the court and hit. It has never happened before. This event inspired many to come out and be a part of it in any way they could.

Like Paul McNamee, Director of the Tournament said “we turned a regular ATP tournament into a Special Event of which one day people will say “I was there!”” It was definitely a game changer.

Thank you Tournament Crew, Thanks to all the volunteers, thank you to all the fantastic ATP players and fans, and Thank you Grisho for showing once again that Bulgarians are great athletes.
With all three of the Champions being from the Balkans, we not only took part of a Historic Bulgarian Event, but made Balkan Tennis History, and I am proud to be a part of it.


Vesselina Jeliazkova
a former tennis player and a current coach