Boris Becker hopes to help China become a tennis force after opening academy in Shenzhen
Germany’s former world No 1 is astonished that only the retired Li Na has succeeded on the world stage but he’s determined to change this
Former world No.1 tennis player Boris Becker hopes to help China become a force in world tennis after lending his name to a new academy at the Mission Hills resort in Shenzhen.
The coach of current world No.1 Novak Djokovic said he was bemused that China - Li Na apart - has had little success in tennis and hopes the first academy under his name can help change that.
“This is the biggest country in the world, but no male players in the top 100 - we’re about to change this,” he said at the academy’s launch yesterday.
“I’m old enough and mature enough to give back and hopefully can pass on my epxerience as a player and coach.”
With 51 courts at the sprawling resort, Mission Hills has been used as a training camp by China’s national teams. They hope to launch a pilot scheme at the new Becker Academy in the summer and start taking students from September.
"Boris doesn’t have time to coach another professional player but was willing to commit to this opportunity because he sees great potential in Asia and China in producing the next no.1 tennis players,” said Mission Hills vice chairman Tenniel Chu.
“He sees us as a doubles partnership where we’re helping to breed the next generation of tennis players in this part of the world.”
Becker staged a clinic with junior players from Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
"Clearly there is tremendous talent and potential among young tennis players in China," he said afterwards.
“To progress to the next levels, it’s imperative not only to provide outstanding facilities, such as those we have here at Mission Hills, but also to offer more opportunity to play tournaments.
“I believe that the Boris Becker Tennis Academy at Mission Hills will stimulate greater interest in the sport and prove the ideal training ground for boys and girls with the ambition to become world stars.”