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For the past few years, Europe has gradually established itself as a tennis superpower, displacing countries like Australia and the United States.
What has made them so successful? There are a myriad of reasons but it mainly comes down to what Australian Open director Craig Tiley calls the four Cs. They are:
- Courts: The number of tennis courts in Europe have grown, which enhances participation from all age groups. Youngsters have developed a close relationship with the sport and are willing to give up their education to pursue their dream.
- Coaches: Countries like Serbia, Spain and France have been able to access the services of world renowned coaches. Without them, talented players would have to receive the bulk of their instruction by travelling to other countries. This will drive potential players away from the game.
- Competitions: Competitions give a chance for players to hone their skills, increase their intensity and receive valuable match practice. Since most ATP/WTA events are based in Europe, it isn’t hard to see why there are so many good players coming from Spain, Serbia and France.
- Champions: Once the fundamentals are built through courts, coaches and competitions, there will be champions. Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka, winners of the 2012 Australian Open men’s and women’s singles respectively, are fine examples.