On February 11th and 12th, Chizhovka Arena hosted a prestigious international women's tennis tournament Federation Cup. This season, the Belarusian tennis players for the first time entered the top eight teams in the world.
In this article, we would like to introduce you to 18-year-old hot prospect of Belarus national team Vera Lapko.
Before tennis, she was engaged in figure skating
Four-year-old, she was brought to figure skating classes by her parents. The little girl did well on the skating- rink. Unfortunately, the coaches told her that this kind of sport was not suitable for her because of her large stature.
Vera recalls: she really was growing up fast – 10 cm taller each year. After giving up ice skating, the sportswoman came to her elder brother’s tennis training. As a result, Vera grew fond of this sport.
Aged 17, she won Australian Open (juniors)
In the early 2016, Vera Lapko became winner at Australian Open Junior Tournament. Among the Belarusian women, only former world No1 Victoria Azarenka achieved the same success (she won the title in 2005). When going to the tournament, Vera saw the photo of young Azarenka and was resolved to repeat her success. Vera Lapko said that “Belarus needs someone after Azarenka.”
She did not get money for victory
Despite the fact that tennis is considered to be one of the richest sports, Vera didn’t get any prize money after winning at the tournament. This competition is for juniors and conducted for interest and prestige so no money is paid to winners. However, Vera Lapko wasn’t disappointed because professional advancement, acquired experience and satisfaction are the priorities for her right now.
She wants to be in top 50 before 19
Vera’s dream is to enter the top- 50 of the world ranking list before 19. According to Lapko, the progress in tennis is more important than victories. She believes in achieving high results in this sport.
With team members and coach.
There’re no idols in tennis world
The girl tries not to idealize anyone. She likes to observe the performance of such tennis icons as Azarenka and Williams. However, Vera mentioned that most of her peers hope the career of Williams will be over by the time they start taking part in professional tournaments. Now Williams is 35, nevertheless, Vera said that she wouldn’t be surprised if Serena stayed around another ten years.
More than 2,500 Instagram followers
Vera regularly posts photos from her trainings and tournaments in Instagram which attracts the followers. At the end of the year, Vera summarized the results of 2016 and admitted that it was a very difficult and “long” year during which she did get through everything. The tennis player thanked everyone who was close to her – the coach, mother, brother, sponsors. The followers promised to keep an eye on her career and support her.