¡Hola! Hello, and welcome to our second posting of this month - the month of the 'Play-The-Spanish-Way. With this posting I just wanted to let you all know that we are launching a new campaign that seeks to communicate in a fun and playful way our commitment to promoting a training system that has been around for many decades, a system that originated in Spain (duh), and one that has been able to generate an average of one #1 Player (both ATP and WTA) in the world every four years for the last 28 years. Incidentally, one of those players has been dubbed one of the GOATs - Greatest Of All Time, and holds the unbelievable record of 12 French Open Titles (plus a respectable 6-more Singles Grand Slam titles in all surfaces) Yes, Rafa Nadal is the epitome of Spanish Tennis.
But, as the story goes, it all started once-upon-a-time-ago, back in the '80s, when the then giants Lendl and McEnroe roamed the (tennis) Earth, and a young Spaniard from Madrid, named Emilio Sánchez-Vicário entered the scene. Sánchez, won his first top-level singles title in Nice, France in 1986, shortly after turning pro in 1984. He went on to win another15 singles titles during his career, including the Italian Open (Tennis Masters Series event) in 1991, and reaching a career-high singles ranking of World No. 7. Not too shabby!
In men's doubles, Sánchez captured 50 men's doubles titles, including three at Grand Slam events. In 1988, he won the men's doubles titles at both the French Open and the US Open (with Sergio Casal). He won the French Open title again (with Casal) in 1990. Sánchez and Casal were also the men's doubles runners-up at Wimbledon in 1987, and the pair won the silver medal for Spain at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. Sánchez was ranked World No. 1 in men's doubles in 1989. Sánchez won two Grand Slam mixed doubles titles in 1987, at the French Open and the US Open. He was a member of Spain's Davis Cup team from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, compiling a 32–23 record. And he was part of the Spanish teams that won the Hopman Cup in 1990 and the World Team Cup in 1992.
Sánchez retired from the professional tour in 1998. From then on, many others have followed his footsteps. The likes of Sergi Bruguera, Albert Costa and Carlos Costa, Carlos Moya, Juan Carlos Ferrero (I know, a lot of Carlos), Alex Corretja, Feliciano Lopez, Fernando Verdasco… the list is long. So long it is referred as the Spanish Armada. But I apologize to those notable names not mentioned here (and there are many), especially those on the Women’s side.
But the impressive tennis accolades go beyond his playing days. Sánchez and his doubles partner Sergio Casal continue to make their mark by contributing to the growth of the game through their Tennis Academies in Spain, North America and Asia, by producing world-class players such as Murray, Kusnetzova, Dimitrov, Konta, Mónaco (to name a few) and hundreds of College-Tennis-bound players, effectively, creating opportunities in tennis, in education, in life - as per the Academy's Mission statement.
The Sánchez-Casal Academy is considered a global tennis reference for its unique training system established by coaches with worldwide reputation. A system that has its roots Emilio's own coach and mentor (Pato Alvarez)'s innovative teaching system, built around the “double rhythm” footwork concept, which consists of a series of side shuffles along the baseline forming an X-pattern. As many other Spanish Training Systems, the ASC (Academia Sanchez Casal) system evolved, perfected and adapted to the modern game.
I truly hope the campaign will do more than just talk about the Spanish training system, but that you may wish to 'Play the Spanish Way'. ¡Gracias!