French tennis pro shares expertise with young aspiring players in Seychelles
French tennis player Jeremy Chardy, 29, spent some time playing a few games with a group of young aspiring players on Saturday, while on holiday in Seychelles. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency)
Speaking to the media, Chardy said, “When I was little I loved meeting with professionals, and as I adore children for me it’s a pleasure, and I know for them it’s important so it’s going to be super.”
Chardy shared his expertise with an enthusiastic group of young Seychellois on the tennis court at Roche Caiman in the presence of parents and officials from the National Sports Council, the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine and the local Tennis Federation.
Gary Albert, chair of the Seychelles Tennis Federation, said, “We organised for him to meet with the young players because it motivates them, and as much as possible we use every opportunity we get for the visiting professionals to meet with our players.”
Albert added that: "They get to see a player they usually watch on television so this is a wow factor for them. Today I saw the excitement on their faces, and although Chardy cannot spend much time, the little he does is really a big thing.”
|Chardy shared his expertise with an enthusiastic group of young Seychellois on the tennis court at Roche Caiman. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Chardy is ranked 72nd by the Association of Tennis Professionals and his highest position was 25th in January 2013 after he reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, one of the tennis world's four major tournaments each year.
Chardy said he started playing tennis as early as six years but opted to focus solely only tennis starting at 14. He went professional in 2005 and has made some memorable achievements.
“I have made some great wins in my career, like beating Swiss Roger Federer (currently ranked 16) and I have played against some of the best players in the world including current world number 1 Briton Andy Murray,” said Chardy.
The French tennis player says at 29 he still has a few more years to give and his objective next season is “to move up in the ranking and try again to achieve the 25 place. I was recently injured and did not play for three months, so that makes it more complicated for me. I hope to make next year my best one and that this visit to Seychelles brings me luck.”
|Chardy is ranked 72nd by the Association of Tennis Professionals and has played against some of the best players in the world including Swiss Roger Federer and current world number 1 Briton Andy Murray. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
This is Chardy’s first visit to Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.
“I came here on holiday as everyone says Seychelles is a paradise, this is the first time for me, and it is very beautiful, the weather is great, and the water is magical.”
For aspiring young players, Chardy says, “The most important thing is to love playing tennis and training really hard, it’s difficult if you are not passionate about it.”
Chardy added that it is also important to have a good coach because getting the basics and the right techniques are important.
It is doubly hard for young Seychellois as they are quite far from international junior championships said Chardy.
“At a given time, the local coach should see if the players can go to higher level events, they need to play against tougher opponents if they want to progress,” he said.
|Chardy in souvenir photos taken with the young tennis players in Seychelles (first photo) as well as with parents and officials from the National Sports Council, the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine and the local Tennis Federation. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
The Federation chair said they are thinking along the same line.
“What we want to do is put in place a programme where the players can participate in regional events and other higher level ones like Davis Cup Junior and others. The last consultant said that this is what we have to do if we want to keep our players motivated.”
Seychelles has one elite tennis player, Damien Laporte, who is studying at the Justine Henin Academy in Belgium for one year.