High Performance Squads
The Athlete Development criteria describes objective standards for players considering professional careers that are interested in being part of our national program. Tennis New Zealand believes that a combination of a clear understanding as to the standards evidenced by the criteria, in addition to individual athletes representing strong personal qualities (respect, commitment, grit) will increase the chances of New Zealand being successful on the world stage (ATP/WTA top 100).
Through undertaking a rigorous investigation of the ranking histories of current successful male and female professionals (top 100 ATP and WTP players), Tennis New Zealand has compiled an extensive amount of information that has helped to comprise the Athlete Development criteria.In other words, the rankings of the top 100 players in the men’s and women’s games have been tracked from the date of first appearance on the ITF, ATP, WTA ranking lists; and then every subsequent year.
The respective tenets of the criteria (ranking, result and participation) are designed to act as a beacon of aspiration for New Zealand’s future ATP/WTA top-100 ranked athletes and, by extension, our future Davis/Fed Cup representatives.
It is important to note that eligibility for entry into the Tennis New Zealand National Program (TNZNP) is contingent upon athletes meeting the requisite levels of commitment and upholding consistently high standards in terms of attitude and behaviour.
The formulation of the criteria has involved the compilation of data to clearly delineate the ranking progression of current top-100 professional players (both male and female) in order to provide an increasingly extensive and objective evidence base. An examination of the criteria will reveal that in the younger age brackets, there remains an emphasis on National (and Australian) results and as further maturation occurs players are assessed increasingly against international benchmarks. It should also be noted that there is opportunity for flexibility within the criteria to allow for specificity on an individual-athlete basis (ITF vs ATP/WTA pathways).
Given the fact that this implementation of our athlete development criteria represents something of a new beginning in terms of athlete selection, in the interests of fairness TNZ has elected to provide some level of flexibility around meeting the criteria. For any athlete that meets the athlete development criteria in 2018, we have outlined the process below. However, if any individual athlete believes that he/she would have met the criteria from 2017 (given the relative age being the same), they are welcome to apply. As an example, if a 2004 birth-year female currently does not meet the 2018 criteria but believes that she would have met the (current) 2005 requirements at some stage throughout 2017, they would be assessed to meet criteria upon receipt of an application.
- Assigned coach
- Individualised strength and conditioning programming and supervision
- 12-month training scholarship
- Daily training environment that aspires to be world-class at every level of operation
- Performance analysis
- Athlete Development Plan
- Athlete priorities
- Domestic and International Tours – On the road support from a coaching perspective
- Physiotherapy screening
- Physical testing
National Program Application Process
Athletes/families that believe they have met the criteria for 2020 (or, alternatively meet retrospectively from 2019 in a younger age bracket) and would like to be a part of the TNZNP, are asked to e-mail the high performance director at Tennis NZ - Simon Rea
It is requested that a copy of the athlete’s current weekly training schedule, annual plan, athlete priorities, strength and conditioning program and most recent physiotherapy screening report be included in the e-mail.
Junior National Representative Teams
Athletes will qualify automatically with selection in any of the following National Representative Teams:
- World Junior Teams Boys
- World Junior Teams Girls
- Junior Davis Cup
- Junior Fed Cup
List of benefits:
- 100% flights/accommodation covered by Tennis NZ towards representative opportunity outlined above
- Pre-tour camp delivered by Tennis NZ staff (in conjunction with private coaches) held at no cost to selected athletes
- Weekly training schedule
- Athlete Development Plan
- Athlete priorities
- Strength and conditioning programme
Davis Cup Development Squad:
George Stoupe, Isaac Becroft, Macsen Sisam
Fed Cup Development Squad:
Valentina Ivanov, Elys Ventura
The Davis and Fed Cup development squads have been created for 18th birth year and older athletes in order to further support them and their coaching teams during the transition phase on their journeys from junior tennis to professional tennis. Firstly, we recognise here those athletes that consistently compete with grit, commitment and respect.
In the case of George and Isaac, these two fought out the 18’s Nationals final in December and have both made significant strides in physicality across 2018 which speaks to their drive and perseverance. Valentina has had a strong New Zealand summer and wants to continue to prioritise physicality in her development throughout the remainder of 2019 and Elys will be looking to increasingly transition into professional-level events as her year plays out. Macsen has represented New Zealand previously in Davis Cup and is off to a really strong start with his collegiate career at Vanderbilt University, he will be looking to play professional events over the summer break.
These athletes will be supported by way of being included at mutually-suitable times into the Auckland-based daily training environment both from an on and off-court perspective (flexibility will be applied based on what is in the best interests of the athlete) and Tennis NZ will endeavour to provide on-the-road support for this group also whereby athlete schedules align. Importantly, this squad can be added to at any time across the year and so athlete performance by way of rankings, results and commitment will be decisive factors in creating further opportunity for aspiring 18th birth year and older athletes.
The relationships all of these athletes enjoy with their private coaches (George Stoupe/Marc Paulik, Isaac Becroft/Clint Packer, Macsen Sisam/Jeff Simpson and Caco Zanella, Valentina Ivanov/Nathan Carter, Elys Ventura/Caco Zanella) have been highly influential on the group and we appreciate the support and partnership of these coaches in this new initiative.
Tennis NZ congratulates these athletes, families and coaches on their efforts to reach these squads.
As a means of rewarding athletes with outstanding personal qualities and a proven track record of achievement in singles, 2019 will see a more highly focussed commitment to supporting athletes that have represented (or we believe are likely to represent) New Zealand in Davis and/or Fed Cup at professional level.
The intent of the creation of these squads is to recognise and reward athletes that are completely committed to becoming successful singles professionals on the ATP/WTA tours. Primarily, this will be done through the provision of daily training environment and on the road coach support for members of our newly created Davis and Fed Cup Development squads to further support them and their coaches in terms of increasing the chances of success for these athletes in the long term at the elite level of our sport.
These athletes will play a pivotal role in New Zealand’s long term desire for both our Davis and Fed Cup teams to be achieving at a world-class level in coming years. These squads will be named in early 2019 following consultation with Davis and Fed Cup Captains and selected along the same lines as our Davis and Fed Cup squads as per the process.