I enjoyed what you had to say, but you're hunched over

On the same day that the semi-finals of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament were played, some members of the talent group received instruction from Marcella Mesker.

Although the former player hits a mean tennis shot, she was not talking about tennis technique this time. In her current role as tennis reporter, she gave the group a media training session: the better a player performs, the more attention he or she receives. This is certainly the case with the youngsters seeking to forge a path to the global top under the guidance of Richard Krajicek and Esther Vergeer.

Favourable opinion

Richard Krajicek explains, ‘One of the important aspects of a sports career is talking to the media. I myself didn’t master this skill until I was older, which is a shame. It’s a great help if the media have a favourable opinion of you. That’s why we’re teaching our kids about this now.’

Comments from Marcella

Alec, Ruben, Sander and Tim were given an explanation of the basics and then got started. Tournament commitments prevented the rest from joining in. The players were first interviewed on camera, after which Marcella gave them feedback. Comments included, ‘I enjoyed what you had to say, but you’re hunched over’, ‘I like that smile’ and ‘you’re not standing properly’. The boys also commented on each other’s performances. Next they took a look at some examples: Federer and Nadal, but also Al Pacino’s performance in the movie Any given Sunday.

'Sander's a really great player'

At the end of the session the boys interviewed each other about the Partner of the Future programme and other subjects. This produced some remarkable exchanges. ‘What’s your favourite ever win?’ Sander Jong asked Alec. ‘Beating Sander Jong,’ was the reply. ‘I agree, that was a great win,’ the interviewer replied, ‘Sander Jong is a really great player.’

Find out how Richard Krajicek and Esther Vergeer held a talent contest on court.