Succes of the talent programme hinges on the tennis association

Although Esther Vergeer and Richard Krajicek are helping talented young tennis players to reach the top, it would be difficult to achieve anything without KNLTB’s help.

No fewer than seven of the eight players selected are in the youth academy of tennis association KNLTB, which is also the driving force behind the tennis academy that trains talented young players in the Netherlands. Richard Krajicek believes that it is very important to work together with the association as part of ABN AMRO’s Partner of the Future programme. ‘We seek KNLTB’s input on everything that we hope to undertake for or with our group. The association has been training the kids from the start and is doing a great job. That’s why it’s vital that what Esther and I contribute supports the plans of the coaches already working with kids.’

Talking to the press

In the talent programme, KNLTB is responsible for the technical aspects. ‘Our contribution there won’t be the most important,’ explains Krajicek. ‘Esther and I can much better advise on related matters, for example how to structure a professional career, how to talk to the press, social media and – through ABN AMRO – money, insurance and other issues. If we explain these things now, hopefully the kids will be ready for pro tennis in three years’ time: not just the technical side, but every aspect.’

Another year to wait

Tim van Rijthoven is playing his final year of junior tennis. Krajicek believes that of all the players he is currently closest to embarking on a professional career. ‘Normally, Tim could have tried to qualify for the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. That would have been his first big step on the ATP Tour. When we realised that it would be better to put his debut off for a while, the partnership with KNLTB proved its value. Everyone agreed right away: better to be a star in a while than have an extraordinary experience right now. Tim’s will have another year to wait before he makes his debut in Rotterdam.’

Find out how Richard Krajicek and Esther Vergeer map out the right path to the top of their young players.