23 Feb 2015

ITF Pro Circuit meets... Sachia Vickery

Text Interview

By Nick Fishpool

Photo: Luke BurdenSachia Vickery (USA)

A chance to learn more about the American teenager, including who her toughest opponent has been, whose attributes she'd use to create a super player and the bizarre reason behind conceeding a point in a tiebreaker...

ITF Pro Circuit: Can you tell us where were you born and maybe describe the area where you grew up?

Sachia Vickery: I was born and raised in Miramar, Florida, a very small and quiet city.

Do any other members of your family play sport?

My brother currently plays college football.

So how did you get started in tennis?

I started playing tennis when I was 6-years-old, my grandma bought me a small paddleball racquet and I used to hit on the wall for hours.

What can you tell us about your current coach?

My current coach is Adrian Zeman and Christophe Couprie is my travel coach. I've known Adrian for many years, he has helped transform my game and he has put in a lot hard work with me on court.

Who were/are your tennis idols?

Venus and Serena Williams

What is your greatest tennis memory from your childhood?

My first tennis lesson.

You recently won your first two singles titles of your ITF Pro Circuit career; can you recall what was going through your mind when you had that first match point and the moment of triumph when winning your first title?

I was so unbelievably happy and so excited that all of my hard work was paying off. After I won I went and hugged my coach for bringing me to that point.

Who has been the toughest opponent you have faced on court in an ITF Pro Circuit match?

My toughest opponent was Sara Sorribes Tormo from Spain, I played her first round in the Plantation $25k and I barely won in three sets. Shortly after I played her in the Sunrise final and we played an unbelievable match with so many long rallies, she fights for every ball and really challenged me.

In your opinion, what would you say are the best and worst aspects of being a professional tennis player?

In my opinion the best aspect is getting to travel all around the world and see many different places , also competing and getting to do what you love everyday like a job. The worst is sometimes you are away from home for long periods of time and you miss your friends and family back home a lot.

So far in your career, what has been the nicest ITF Pro Circuit venue that you have played at?

The $100k in Cagnes-sur-Mer in the south of France was one of the nicest venues I have played at. The scenery was absolutely beautiful.

Have there been any amusing on-court incidents that you can share?

Just recently at the $100k in Midland I was playing my first round match and as I was following through on my forehand my Pandora bracelet got stuck on my necklace and I had to give up the point at 4-2 in the first set breaker. It took at least three minutes to get the bracelet off!

How do you like to spend your time between matches at tournaments?

At most tournaments I just like to try to relax as much as possible, I read a lot and on an off day I would go shopping.

How have you found players relationships with each other to be at tournaments on the ITF Pro Circuit compared to other Circuits you may have played?

I think they are both pretty similar. In both ITF and WTA we all seem to get along well because we do see each other almost every week so after a while you get used to seeing the same people.

How has playing on the ITF Pro Circuit helped you develop as a player?

It has definitely helped me gain a lot of confidence especially in the past month, I got to play a lot of matches and I gained a lot of experience also.

Do you have any superstitions when it comes to competing?

I'm just a little superstitious but not too crazy, I just try to keep my same exact routine at every tournament.

Would you recommend that juniors go on to play the ITF Pro Circuit?

I definitely would just because it's a great experience and you get a chance to play a lot of matches.

What aspect of another female player’s game do you most envy?

I don't really envy anyone's game, I believe that we all have our own style and we have to do the best with whatever game we have.

Speaking of other female players, name the various players, past and present, whose attributes you would take to create your own female super player

Serve: Serena Williams
Return of Serve: Maria Sharapova
Forehand: Serena Williams
Backhand: Jelena Jankovic
Volley: Roberta Vinci
Positioning: Serena Williams
Speed on court: Dominika Cibulkova
Concentration: Maria Sharapova
Fighting spirit: Maria Sharapova
Entertainment: Agnieszka Radwanska

If you could only have one Grand Slam title, which would you choose?

US Open

What has been the best piece of advice you have been given?

My mom always tells me to never give up and fight for every point when I step on court.

Away from the tennis court do you have any other interests?

I love shopping , reading , and watching movies with my friends.

Meeting which celebrity would leave you star struck?

Kevin Hart

Do you have a favourite holiday destination

Barbados is one of my favourite islands.

If you had not become a tennis player what career path would you have liked to have followed?

Marine biologist

Have you set yourself any goals for 2015?

My goal is to just do the best I can and hopefully my game and ranking will continue to improve.

Finally, can you tell us something about yourself that possibly not many people already know?

I love poetry.