I was born in Athens, Greece at 12th of August 1998 to a Greek father from Karditsa, Greece and a Russian mother from Moscow, Russia. These two people were the first ones to introduce me to tennis. It all started at the tennis courts of a local resort in which both of my parents worked as tennis coaches for tourists and travelers. That was the place where I picked up my first tennis racket and learnt all the secrets of this wonderful sport.
I was the first child out of four in the family. We lived in a touristic suburb south of Athens called Vouliagmeni with a population of less than 6,000 people. The suburb is named after Lake Vouliagmeni, located in its vicinity.
At the the age of six I started having my first tennis lessons at the Tennis Club Glifada in a group with other kids at my age. My first coach was Giorgos Spiliopoulos who taught me about the importance of the sport, discipline, work-ethic and right technique on court. It was a very important step for me having a humble coach like him giving me the right steps and directing me with his knowledge from the beginning of time.
At the age of eight I moved to Giorgos Fountoukos, the person who developed my game, technique, footwork as a junior player. He was a big change in my tennis since then, he is a very experienced tennis coach with lot’s of on-court knowledge, a very conventional way of technique development and a unique cast of mind on the tennis court. He is my tennis coach back home until today.
After getting started with the game of tennis there was a crucial decision that I had to make, a decision that was getting closer as the years went by. This decision was my future. Do I want to make tennis my profession? Am I ready to sacrifice my life in Greece to begin traveling for tennis? The answer from my 12 year old self was “Yes, I want to do that.”
I was ready for this long journey, this battle that I had to face, the stress, the sleepless nights, the tension, the frustration, the nerves, the anxiety… I had to face an opponent, but the biggest challenge was to surpass my expectations. I was going to take my chances, fail most of the time but, that was and still is the key on growing successfully and chasing a dream that was and is there. Titles that many people want, but only few get.
Tennis taught me a lot of things in my life. I have experienced things that I wouldn’t otherwise experience if I wasn’t playing the sport that I Iove. Tennis allowed me to see new places, meet new people, discover cultures… I was able to turn my childhood hobby into my profession. That was incredible already!
Tennis has taught me of discipline, self-awareness, behaviour, morality, respect, sportsmanship and decision-making. I own everything to this game, a game with which I have grown, learned and failed most of the time. Tennis represents me and everything that I have. Tennis is always going to be my job and my passion. Tennis is my life!