Coaches’ Corner: Swinnen says Stricker should take ‘one step at a time’ | ATP Tour

Coaches’ Corner: Swinnen says Stricker should take ‘one step at a time’ | ATP Tour

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Sven Swinnen still remembers the first time he saw Dominic Stricker play. The then 14-year-old left-hander attended the Swiss Tennis Academy in Biel, Switzerland. The facility is located on Roger-Federer-Allee so as not to put pressure on the youngsters who train there with big dreams.

“He hit the ball pretty clean. He was good with the ball on his racquet from a young age,” Swinnen told “Obviously his footwork wasn’t the best yet. He can still improve today. But slowly it is getting better and better.”

Stricker was at the country’s national training center for a few days of practice. Six years later, he’s 20 and Swinnen is his full-time coach. The left is on the rise.

Stricker ended his 2022 season with the best tennis of his career, winning a main draw match at the ATP 250 in Antwerp and another at the ATP 500 in Basel, his home game. He then shone at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, defeating Jack Draper, Lorenzo Musetti and Chun-Hsin Tseng in round robin before falling in the semifinals.

“We try to take one step at a time. Now obviously he’s close to the top 100 so the next goal when you talk about the rankings will be to get a spot in the top 100 and hold it for some time,” Swinnen said of his protégé, who has the number 118 is in the Pepperstone ATP rankings. “Don’t get too lost trying to score points or think too much about points, try to keep working on the things that you need to improve on the pitch and then all things will come automatically. ”

<a href=Dominik Stricker” />
Credit: Peter Staples/ATP Tour
Swinnen is very familiar with young Swiss players with great prospects. The former University of Oregon student athlete grew up with Roger Federer.

“We’re always going to say a little bit of the same thing to the little kids,” Swinnen said. “Everyone goes their own way, focus on that, focus on improving and it’s just great to have someone like Roger in Switzerland. That might motivate them to play too.

“You get to know him too. Dominic played with him a couple of times, that was good too.”

In 2021, Stricker shared a story with the media about how Federer discussed the importance of serving during their joint training session with his younger compatriot. This shot has become one of Stricker’s greatest weapons.

According to Swinnen, it was important to continue building on this strength.

“Sometimes you want to try to improve on your weaknesses, but I also like to focus on your strengths. Keep improving his serve,” Swinnen said. “He serves pretty well already, that’s a big weapon of his, his serve, for his size. Keep improving these and then there are many things he can improve.”

Judging by the end of 2022, fans will also become increasingly familiar with this recording. In Milan, Stricker showed no fear of a big stage in the Allianz Cloud. Swinner added that such opportunities will only help his player grow.

“Everyone dreams of these stages, these big tournaments. That’s why you practice. That’s what all the young kids dream about, playing these big events,” Swinnen said. “Suddenly when you get closer you really want to try to get there. I hope he keeps his focus, keeps training hard and hopefully he gets to play more and more of these events.”

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