Max Puci: "Being in the top 100 is already an achievement, but Golubev can do even better!"
The professional tennis player knows no rest, especially in the summer, with Wimbledon in late July, and the U.S. Open scheduled between August and early September. Between these two events, Massimo Puci is taking stock of his star player, Andrey Golubev, the "Kazakh From Bra," as they call him on the circuit. For years now, Andrey has trained under the Zizzola, the strange building that is the symbol of Bra. Together with his coach, who is a sort of elder brother and highly trusted person, he climbed the ATP rankings to reach number 56 in the world, his highest ranking, and then leveled off around the 80th position. In Bra he has many supporters (including members of the Match Ball Tennis Academy, among others) who cheer him on from afar at each tournament and expect great things from him. There have already been some great results, since "Baby Face" (the nickname that he was saddled with at the last Australian Open) is now firmly in the Top 100 in the world. From coach Puci, this analysis: "Do not settle for the top hundred in the world by simply depending only on your talent. You must pursue of years of work, planning and training. Talent alone is not enough for anyone, not even Federer and Nadal. "As demonstrated at the last Wimbledon," explains the coach from Bra, "the performance level is high, and even the strongest struggle to succeed there. Many, even among supporters, merely look at the result in itself, and if a player loses the first or second round in a major tournament they consider it a failure. But that is wrong. Instead, you must remember how much has already been required to play in those tournaments. He still needs to improve, but if he can make the final leap, both physically and mentally, and maintain his intensity in every tournament and every match, he has a great future. " Asked for a clearer prediction, Puci becomes less certain: "The top 5 in the world are from another planet. To enter the top twenty is very difficult, but I think the top 30 is possible. Andrey is very talented, very sure of himself, and only 23 years old. He needs consistency in play and good results: sometimes his consistency is just not there, partly because he has not delivered on all the technical potential he has. Plus, he is facing almost exclusively ATP opponents to whom he can easily lose."Regarding how a coach might affect the results of his player, Coach Puci has this to say: "My influence is a small percentage, only 5 or 6 per cent. But early in the career of a player, there are times where, as he grows and you train him or her, the coach's influence reaches almost 100 percent. In 15-18 years a player is what the coach has made him ". In that case, how do you rank the 2008 tournament in St. Petersburg, where Andrey reached the final, beating champions like Safin? "It was a week when Andrey lived up to his potential, and had nothing to lose. He won a game, then another, then started playing better, and every time he went onto the court he went on autopilot. That was a week of playing on autopilot for Andrey. Now we must learn to turn that on more often ... "