Our girls will conquer US tennis courts

In the website of US Embasy in Latvia it’s said, that the USA university system is one of the biggest and best systems in the world with great study programmes in almost every field. The degrees are recognized worldwide for their excellence. Studying in American universities is very expensive. Consequently, for many who want to study in the United States, it seems like an unattainable dream. However, there are various options and support systems to keep tuition costs in the US lower or even non-existent.

2017.gada 7.maijā visas trīs liepājnieces kāpa LTS kausa 5.posmā U18 vecuma grupai. Cerams, ka visas trīs liepājnieces arī ASV spēs aizņemt visu goda pjedestālu. (no kreisās - Patrīcija Špaka, Rebeka Margareta Mertena, Elza Tomase).

On May 7, 2017, all three Liepaja Tennis sport school students took the podium of U18 age group in the 5th stage of the LTS Cup. We hope that all three girls will get on the podiums in the USA. (from left – Patrīcija Špaka, Rebeka Margareta Mertena, Elza Tomase).

So far, several former graduates of Liepāja Tennis sport school have obtained higher education in the USA, additionally combining it with a game of tennis. This year, two graduates of Liepāja Tennis sport school have signed agreements on studies in the USA – Elza Tomase chose to study in University of Tennessee, but Patrīcija Špaka chose Arizona State University. It should be noted, that in University of Tennessee last year her studies began Liepaja Tennis sport school graduate Rebeka Margareta Mertena. Meanwhile, Liepaja Tennis sport school coach Katrīna Samoilova studied in Western Kentucky University from 2009 till 2013. To find out how our girls managed to get into these universities, we invited them to share their experiences.

Rebeka Margareta Mertena – “Now, while at university, there is a much greater understanding of the admission process and it is interesting to see what schools made me offers.”

Rebeka Margareta Mertena Tenesī universitātes formā

Rebeka Margareta Mertena studies in the University of Tennessee

At the beginning of the conversation, all four Liepaja women shared their thoughts that studying in the USA has been their dream for a long time. One of the reasons is that while studying at these universities, you have the opportunity to play tennis at a high level. Extra motivation to study in the United States for Patrīcija occurred when at the age of 12, she along with other Liepaja Tennis sport school students had the opportunity to travel to the US for a month and take part in various training and competitions. Meanwhile, Rebeka received additional motivation by the study experience of other Latvian tennis players in the USA and she realized that it is something unique and such an opportunity should be used.. For Katrīna, studying in the USA was a goal at an early age, because she knew that several students of Liepāja Tennis sport school had gone there to study..

Patrīcija Špaka – “It is very important that in the selection process you have the opportunity to consult and ask for advice from people who have gone through this difficult process themselves! This is probably one of the main lessons – feel free to ask for advice!”

Arizonas Štata universitātes paziņojums par Patrīcijas Špakas uzņemšanu

Arizona State University announcement on Patrīcija Špaka admission

Responding to the application process at US universities, Elza noted that the process had been relatively difficult. It was necessary to pass two specialized examinations in English, as the requirements and assessment criteria of each university differed. Of course, the more prestigious and better the university, the stricter the entry requirements. Patrīcija said that the first interest in her was received from US universities when she was in 9th grade. At first, Patricia felt this too quickly, but later realized that the process was normal practice. In this way, universities show a genuine interest in attracting new students and players. Rebeka pointed out that the whole application process took her a year and a half. All three tennis players confirmed that the application process at US universities is long and tedious, as they have to choose a university from a wide range of offers and at the same time attend in interviews. As there is a difference of several hours between Latvia and the USA, the interviews with universities took place relatively late. Given that they continued to take part in various competitions, it happened that these interviews took place during the tournaments, when all the focus was on the games. However, these interviews helped universities to understand tennis, and they also gave girls the opportunity to understand what they would like to study and where to spend the next four years of life.

Elza Tomase – “I am very happy to be able to study at one of the best universities in the United States!”

Tenesī universitātes paziņojums par Elzas Tomases uzņemšanu

University of Tennessee announcement on Elza Tomase admission

Sharing her thoughts on choosing a particular university, Patrīcija mentions that she had identified a number of key factors: the university’s tennis and learning rankings, the curricula on offer, and factors such as the weather at the university’s locations. However, one of the most important factors was contact and cooperation with coaches and the team. Rebeka also based the choice of the particular university on coaches, friendly atmosphere and feeling of being in safe hands, as well as the location of the university. Elza, on the other hand, took into account the level of tennis at each university, but the final decision was made by choosing between two universities. The University of Tennessee was preferred because it is one of the 20 leading universities in tennis in the United States that met her criteria. Another important factor in the decision was the fact that Elza’s best friend Rebeka is already studying there.

Katrīna Samoilova – “While studying in the United States, I have gained a lot – education, friends, and life experience, which is a great value”.

Katrīna Samoilova 2013.gadā absolvējot Rietumu Kentuki universitāti

Katrīna Samoilova in 2013, graduating from the Western Kentucky University

When the contracts were signed, the girls felt great and filled with joy and, in a sense, relief, that they no longer had to worry about what to do after high school and that this difficult, tedious and long application process was over.

In describing her chosen University, Patrīcija emphasized that the Arizona State University is one of the oldest universities in the United States, with more than 50,000 students. The university is located near the city of Phoenix in Tempe and it is very hot there. The university also has a rich sports tradition in several sports – basketball, American football and also tennis, where it is a stable Top 20 team with great ambitions. The university also offers a very wide curriculum and has the opportunity to learn a variety of professions. Elza knew that the University of Tennessee, based in Knoxville, offers more than 170 study programs and is located next to one of the most visited national parks in the United States. Rebeka added that the University of Tennessee is a large public school that is good at both the academic and sports levels and that sport is a big part of the university. American football is very popular and the stadium of a university team can accommodate more than a hundred thousand spectators. Describing the Western Kentucky University, Katrīna highlighted the fact that it is an international university with students from many countries around the world, so there is an opportunity to get to know different cultures. Western Kentucky University campus is one of the 10 best university campuses in America, where everything is designed to make students feel good and safe.

Asked to describe her experience of studying at the University of Tennessee, Rebeka said that university life is cool, but the schedule for athletes is quite busy, because a lot of time is spent both studying and training. It was hard to get used to at first, but over time it became normal. In addition to training and exercises, of course, you must also participate in tournaments, to which the whole team goes to together. At first, Rebeka thought that it will be difficult to fit in, but in reality it was easy. The team and the university staff are very helpful in adapting and making sure that the new students cope with everything. Rebeka describes the first year of study at the university as excellent, because she got acquinted with many new people. In many competitions she started with good results. Asked for advice from others planning to study in the United States, Rebeka said that it is essential not to give in to the slightest hurdles, to take on challenges, and to see studying in the United States as a huge opportunity and not as something intimidating.

Sharing her experience of studying, Katrīna said that at the beginning it was very difficult for her to get used to it, because she had to get used to the new life and understand how everything is going there. She also lacked a family presence. However, gradually getting acquainted with the teammates, as well as other Latvians studying at the university, who trained in athletics, Katrīna gradually felt like in her second home. One of the first teammates Katrīna met, they developed a very friendly relationship and are still in regular contact. At the university, Katrīna studied hotel, restaurant and tourism management. She really enjoyed this educational program because the lecturers regularly shared practical examples from real life and their personal experiences. For anyone planning to study in the United States, Katrīna definitely recommends enjoying this time. As someone who helped her get to the United States had told her that if she could survive America, then life wouldn’t seem difficult anymore. Katrīna definitely agrees with this statement.

J3 Liepāja is canceled

Because of the prolongation of the state of Covid-19 emergency in Latvia till January 11, 2021, ITF World Tennis Tour J3 Liepāja tournament is canceled!

Atcelts ITF Liepāja starptautiskais tenisa turnīrs 2020.gada decembrī

Stay safe and healthy!

POSTPONED TO YET UNKNOWN TIME In Liepaja will take place Babolat Prix for U18


October 31 and November 1 in the LOC Tennis hall will take place “Babolat balvas izcīņa” (Babolat Prix) for U18 age group. In the tournament will be played out Wild cards to the ITF J3 category tournament “Liepaja International by Babolat”, which will take place at the end of November.It is planned that at the tournament will compete 32 tennis players – 16 boys and 16 girls. Tournament is supported by Babolat representative in Latvia – SIA “Teniss”. You can get the news and information about Babolat in www.teniss.lv and https://www.facebook.com/tenisslv. Babolat shop is located as well in the LOC Tennis hall in Liepaja.

The competition will be held taking into account all the restrictive measures imposed by the spread of COVID-19 infection.

Our students takes two 2nd places at LTU Cup legs

October 9 till 11 in Latvia took place two 8th LTU Cup legs. In Aizkraukle competed U12 age group tennis players, meanwhile in Riga competed U18 tennis players. Liepaja Tennis sport school students Marija Lauva and Enija Paula Aploka in their age groups took 2nd places.In U12 age group Liepaja Tennis sport school was represented by Marija Lauva, Elizabete Marta Hamitova, Sabīne Vaidere, Paula Gurecka, Laura Kristiana Sprūde, Bogdans Kozlovs and Gustavs Brižs. Best success from our students in Aizkraukle had Marija Lauva. She got herself a place in the Final. With 2-6 5-7 against 1st seeded Odeta Panasa (Tennis Pro Academy) left our Marija Lauva in 2nd place.In U18 Liepaja Tennis sport school was represented by Enija Paula Aploka and Dāvis Rolis. Dāvis couldn’t finish the 1st round game, but Enija Paula Aploka got herself till the Final. On the way to the Final Enija won over 2nd and 3rd seeded tennis players, but in the Final she had to play against 1st seeded Dārta Daļecka (ACB/VL tenisa skola). With 1-6 6-7(8) Enija lost to her opponent. So at the end of the 8th LTU Cup leg our Enija Paula Aploka finished 2nd.

Our students compete in ITF Juniours

October 5-9 in Jelgava took place ITF Juniors tournamet “Jelgava Cup”.

Liepaja Tennis sport school was represented by Dāvids Špaks and Alise Vindiga.Dāvids Špaks in the boys competition began with the Qualifiers, but unfortunately in the first game he lost with 6-4 2-6 9-11 to Nojus Poska (Lithuania). And in the Doubles 1st round, where he played together with Alexi Khamrotau (Belarus) with 5-7 7-6(6) 3-10 they lost to pair from Belarus – Anton Kastsenich and Daniil Piatrouski.

At the girls competition our Alise began in the Main draw. In the 1st round with 6-4 1-6 6-4 she won over Estonian Elisabeth Iila, but in the 2nd round with 6-3 6-2 she won over Stsefaniya Shabanava from Belarus. In the game for Semifinal Alise with 6-1 6-7(4) 1-6 lost to other Latvian player – Elizabete Kļavinska. Meanwhile in Doubles Alise did not compete.

Our Dāvids Špaks finishes 2nd in ITF Juniors Doubles

September 28 – October 2 in Ādaži took place ITF Juniors “Ādaži Open” where Liepaja Tennis sport school representative Dāvids Špaks finished 2nd in Doubles.Our only representative in the tournament Dāvids Špaks in the first game in Singles Main draw lost with 5-7 2-6 to Markus Molder from Estonia. Meanwhile in Doubles our Dāvids Špaks played together with Alexi Khamrotau from Belarus. Both boys in the 1st round with 7-6(3) 6-3 won over Latvian pair Artjoms Afanasjevs and Daniels Tens. After then Latvian-Belarusian pair made victory with 7-5 6-3 over 4th seeded Noah Eisenberg (USA) and Fabio Nestola (Great Britain). In Semifinal Dāvids with Alexi with 6-4 7-6(3) made their place in Final over Swedish pair Elliot Altman and John Gabelic. With similar game Dāvids and Alexi against Nicolas Kobelt (Switzerland) and Arslanbek Temirhanov (Sweden) lost to 2nd seeded pair with 6-7(5) 4-6. So at the end our Dāvids Špaks and Belarusian Alexi Khamrotau finished 2nd in Doubles.

4th place in LTU Cup

September 18-20 in Jelgava took place 7th leg of LTU Cup for U12. Best result from our students had Anna Azarova, who finished 4th.

Liepaja Tennis sport school was represented by Timo Tikums, Anna Azarova, Elizabete Marta Hamitova, Laura Kļaviņa, Daniela Krušatina and Laura Kristiana Sprūde.Timo Tikums, who was only one from Liepaja at boys competition, began with the Qualifiers, but unfortunately he couldn’t qualify for the Main draw.

At girls competition Daniela Krušatina and Laura Kristiana Sprūde began with the Qualifiers. To Main draw got Daniela Krušatina. In the Main draw best results from our girls had Anna Azarova by getting till the Semifinal, where with 3-6 0-6 she lost to 1st seeded Kamilla Černousova (TS Spars). In the game for 3rd place Anna Azarova with 6-7(3) 5-7 lost to 3rd seeded Viktorija Visočanska (Mārupes TS). So at the end our Anna Azarova finished 4th.

At Liepaja Championships few medals stay at home

September 19 and 20 in Liepaja took place “Liepājas meistarsacensības by Ferax” (Liepaja Championship by Ferax) for adults. Victory at women competition was celebrated by our Alise Vindiga, 2nd place at men competition was taken by our Eduards Grodskis, but 2nd place for women took our Paula Jankova.At the tournament competed 9 men and 5 women. Liepaja Tennis sport school was represented by Martins Ivanovs, Eduards Grodskis, Alise Vindiga, Paula Jankova, Anastasija Rižkova and Karolīna Skābe.At men competition best result from our representatives had Eduards Grodskis by getting into the Final. On the way to Final he won over 1st seeded Mārtiņš Jaunzems (Mārupes TS) with 6-1 6-3. In Final 4-6 6-7(3) Eduards lost to 2nd seeded Jānis Auslands (LSNT akadēmija). So at the end our Eduards Grodskis finished in 2nd place at Liepaja Championship by Ferax.Medalists at men competition:
1st place – Jānis Auslands (LSNT akadēmija)
2nd place – Eduards Grodskis (Liepaja Tennis sport school)
3rd place – Jānis Krastiņš (PTA tenisa klubs)At women competition, due to smaller participant number, the tournament was played in group game system, where every player had to play against every opponent. By having all easy wins, the 1st place at the tournament was taken by our Alise Vindiga (Liepaja Tennis sport school). Loosing only one game, 2nd place was taken by our Paula Jankova (Liepaja Tennis sport school), but in 3rd place came Līva Lūse (Enri TK).With “Liepāja Championship by Ferax” for adults, the Liepaja Championships has finished. They were organized for U12, U14, U18 age groups and adults. Liepaja Tennis sport school thanks to the supporters of the tournament – Liepaja company “Ferax” (https://www.facebook.com/ferax.lv) and Liepaja municipality. Special thanks goes to Andrejs Žukovs.

Our Kārlis Vēberis finishes 3rd in Liepaja U18 Championship

September 17 and 18 in Liepaja took place “Liepājas meistarsacensības by Ferax” (Liepaja Championship by Ferax) for U18 age group. Our Kārlis Vēberis finished 3rd.At the tournament competed 9 boys and 13 girls. Liepaja Tennis sport school was represented by Kārlis Vēberis, Didzis Vārna, Ričards Špaks, Francis Andersons, Paula Jankova, Anastasija Rižkova, Paula Kapleite, Elizabete Deglava, Kristiana Lagzdiņa and Annete Skripka.At boys competition the best result from our students showed Kārlis Vēberis, who was 2nd seeded. Kārlis got till the Semifinal, where with 1-6 1-6 he lost to 3rd seeded Ruslans Filipenko (ACB/VL tenisa skola). In the game for 3rd place Kārlis with 6-2 6-3 was better than 4th seeded Pavels Petrovs (ACB/VL tenisa skola), so at the end our Kārlis Vēberis finished 3rd. Meanwhile the victory in Liepaja Championship by Ferax was celebrated by Ruslans Filipenko (ACB/VL tenisa skola), who with 6-2 6-0 left in the 2nd place 1st seeded Artūrs Žagars (Event Lab).At girls competition none of our students unfortunately couldn’t get till the Semifinal. Victory in the tournament was celebrated by Jasmīne Lūse (Mārupes TS), 2nd place took Laura Spārniņa (TSS Open), but in 3rd place finished Elīza Kupruka (Mārupes TS).

“Liepājas Championship by Ferax” will conclude with the competition for adults, which will take place September 19 and 20.Tournament is supported by company from Liepaja – “Ferax” (https://www.facebook.com/ferax.lv) and Liepaja Municipality. Special thanks to Andrejs Žukovs.

At Liepāja U14 championship trophies for the guests

September 9 and 10 in Liepaja took place “Liepaja Championship by Ferax” (Liepājas meistarsacensības by Ferax) for U14 age group. Our student Anna Azarova finished 2nd, but Elizabete Marta Hamitova – 3rd.In the tournament competed 12 boys and only 3 of them were not Liepaja Tennis sport school students and 16 girls from whom only 2 were not from Liepaja. At boys competition till the Final got our visitors – Georgijs Harjuzovs (Ventspils TK) and Aleksejs Čurkins (Mārupes TS). In Final with 6-4 6-3 victory was celebrated by visitor from Ventspils – Georgijs Harjuzovs. In 3rd place came Oskars Butāns (Tennis Pro Academy). Meanwhile best result from Liepaja Tennis sport school had Bogdans Kozlovs by finishing 4th.At girls competition till Final got our Anna Azarova and Stefānija Bolēvica (Event Lab). In Final with 6-0 6-0 victory in Liepāja Championship by Ferax was celebrated by Stefānija Bolēvica, so our Anna Azarova finished 2nd, but in 3rd place came our Elizabete Marta Hamitova.Liepaja Championship by Ferax will continue on September 17 and 18 when will take place competition for U18 age group tennis players.

The tournament is supported by copmany from Liepaja – “Ferax” (https://www.facebook.com/ferax.lv) and Liepaja municipality. Special thanks to Andrejs Žukovs.