Francesca Curmi (playing for TK Haron, born in 2002) won Belgrade Open, a III category girls U14 tournament held at TK Privilege. This is the second U14 tournament that Francesca won this year (Belgrade Open at ТК Green Set, IV category), which prompted us to interview her.
❓ Francesca, we would like to congratulate you on your success! First, could you introduce yourself to our readers: where do you come from, what is your native language, what grade are you in, how are your school marks …?
I was born in Malta a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, our native language is Maltese, I am in grade 3 and I think I am doing pretty well in school.
❓ When did you start practicing tennis, and who was your idol?
I started to play tennis when I six but stopped that same year because I was scared of worms crawling on the floor of the court, but then a year later I said I wanted to play tennis again. My idols at the time were Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniaki.
❓ Which achievements would you single out as the most important ones in your career so far?
There were various achievements and challenges along the way it’s difficult to name one; I have learnt that a career in tennis is a marathon and not a 100 meter sprint. I am in it for the long term. My biggest achievement to date is believing in myself and learning both from my wins and from my loses.
❓ Could you tell us more about the tennis club you practice in when you are in Serbia, about your coach and friends you most often practice with?
The name of the tennis club is Haron and it a very friendly little club but with intense professional training. My coach’s name is Ivan Petkovic, he is the owner of the tennis club. I also have another trainer his name is Luka Marinkovic. I made a lot of friends there all of them are very kind and helpful to me, I usually play with my various friends that train at the club and also with various other players visiting the club.
❓ In which club do you practice in Malta, and who is your coach?
The tennis club was called Gordon Asciak Tennis Academy, my coach was Matthew Asciak who is the current Malta Champion. During my early training years I spent a lot of my training sessions learning both technique and consistency.
❓ In your opinion, where is tennis more popular, in Malta or in Serbia?
Serbia, because there are many more players and clubs here! It’s a much bigger country and it neighbors many countries that also play a lot of competitive tennis.
❓ What do you consider to be your biggest strength in tennis, and what would you change or improve in your game?
I think my biggest strength is that I can remain calm when I need it the most. To improve my game although getting there I wish to be more in control when I am at the net.
❓ Do you pay attention to nutrition, and, in your opinion, how much is good nutrition important in becoming a successful athlete?
I do pay attention to my nutrition I make sure I eat the right foods at the right time. My dad usually cooks for me and he is getting better at it every day 🙂
❓ What are your experiences from international tournaments, and do you prepare yourself before tournaments in any special way?
A game of tennis is the same wherever it is played although for International games there was some more pressure. Now, I have come to terms with all matches and the more relaxed I am the better I play so my challenge is to try and control my nerves in whatever match I play but just like everything in tennis it needs to be practiced.
❓ Do you like playing doubles, and why is it important for players to be compatible?
I love playing doubles for once you don’t feel alone on the court; I think it’s important to be compatible with your partner because when things are going wrong it’s the team that can change the direction of the score.
❓ What sort of music do you listen? Could you name for us few songs from your favorite playlist?
I mainly like pop music; they higher my spirits. Hits that I like at the moment are:
- Where are u now
- How deep is your love
- The hills
- New thang
- Years and years
- Waiting for love
- Lean on
- Bad Blood
- Get low
- You know you like it
This interview in Serbian