Written by: Justin
Edited by: Lucas
Visual by: Anushka
Anyone who follows the sport of tennis knows the greatness of Rafael Nadal. Many aspiring tennis players who wish to follow his success are now training at Rafa Nadal Academy (RNA) in Mallorca, Spain. Among the most promising talents at RNA is ISM’s very own Andro B. Andro is a freshman and a tennis prodigy who has recently moved to Spain to continue his education at this elite academy.
Andro picked up his first racket at the age of 5. He got into the sport through lessons with his brother at the Makati Sports Club. However, Andro and tennis were not love at first sight. In fact, he recalls crying on the court and not wanting to play. But as the years went by, Andro’s passion for tennis grew tremendously, and by the age of 12, he wanted to take tennis seriously. He trained and competed with the aspiration of going pro and playing in the grand slams one day.
Andro shares that his tennis journey has not always been easy and requires determination: “Tennis for me is like a love and hate relationship, there are good days and you would feel satisfaction with reaping the rewards, and there are bad days where you feel down, exhausted and feel like giving up. I motivate myself by thinking about the greats like Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and their struggles they faced on and off the court. The struggle is something normal that everybody in life faces, and yet perseverance gets them through the tough times.”
With so many tennis players vying to get into RNA, the recruitment process is considered one of the most competitive globally. In the case of Andro, only seven players from Southeast Asia were offered enrollment spots in the academy. Of these seven, only three were given scholarships, and it turned out that Andro was one of them.
When asked about his time so far at RNA, Andro said, “It has been great! I get to meet and train with people of different personalities and cultural backgrounds. The caliber/level of tennis here in Europe is much different compared to Asia. The bar is set very high, which I know I can adapt to if I can work hard everyday and prove my worth to the top dogs and coaches.”
For aspiring young tennis athletes interested in following after Andro’s footsteps, he shares this piece of advice: “If you are a tennis player, possibly with big dreams, take it one day at a time. Set your goals of what you want to do and how you’re gonna do it. Do not be independent about everything, have a team behind you that will help you on the long haul/journey. Make sure they are good people that will keep you on track and focus on the work.”