What is success? Winning? Qualifying for Roland Garros and Wimbledon? Or get to write inspiring stories that reach people through tennis? For me, Fernanda does this last thing. Fernanda Contreras is a story of tennis, which motivates, and that, above all, marks the difference between the common; She is special, her way of listening, looking, speaking, playing, and her way of surrendering does not leave unnoticed anyone and, when she is on the court she becomes someone else.
She was not born yet when her grandfather was exciting an entire country, making tennis known with his victories in the Davis Cup. He convinces his son, Fernanda’s father, to live off his passion by training tennis players. And then she came, Fernanda, who was born with tennis in her veins and with the racket under her arm, who played tennis before she played with dolls and she always competed from a very young age. They moved to Texas and there she fulfilled one of his first dreams, going to College. In women’s tennis, there are high rates of abandonment in the puberty age, but she decided not to give up and managed to compete at Vanderbilt, almost winning the NCAA and getting a degree as an engineer, a big success. She kept ringing, she wanted to change the world, teach herself, inspire and grow
That was when she wanted to jump to professional tennis, but unfortunately, there were several years of injuries and other concerns. She surpassed them, surely the genes of her grandfather, the sacrifice in court with her father, and growing up in a different country helped her to be forged in hard times. A huge difference in natural selection from the rest of the girls her age, she became a survivor. In addition, her character and positivity allowed her to continue creating opportunities. Today, when the day was over, she said, ¡Yes, it happened! And she laughed at the serve of the match point that almost hit the baseline but immediately she erased it and her ability to play the next ball became spectacular, even if she missed. Fernanda has worked tirelessly to make things happen because she no longer waits for them to happen, she just makes them happen.
She has been working her way, she first convinced Christ Van Rensburg to help her, he gave everything for her, and he became her mentor to make the leap to professionalism, she started with strength and has been doing giant steps breaking every obstacle.
And that was when Cristo calls me at the end of last year. He began to tell me her story and her trajectory. He asked me to help her. At first, I had to think about it, from Mexico and young, I thought “there are not that many opportunities there to play!”, but I was wrong. I love working next to Cristo, we join forces, we have different voices and ways to tell things, and she takes advantage of it.
When she arrived at Naples in December she was a complete player, she did everything well and was structured, she knew how to play, but while playing points she did not push enough to hurt the good ones, she was lost on the court aimlessly, she lacked to take advantage of her different shots, her mental structure had to change so that her way of thinking was the correct one. As an engineer, she could draw the court geometrically so that she did not have to think and take advantage of the areas where she can push the rivals. On the other hand, physically she had to play benching more on the knees, get longer strokes for more periods of time and mentally improve the conversation with herself, she had to believe more in herself.
I talked to her and she looked at me like, what is this person saying? But she took some notes. And the most inspiring thing, she had no idea how to do it, but she tried and persevered. Her desire to excel, and her way of listening, trying, of doing what was asked of her, make her an exceptional woman. Her way of thinking allowed me to ask for more and more, and she began to realize that she had a lot of room to grow. So doing the same as she was doing before, but with more order and from the right place she began to trust, believing gave her the wings and confidence led to the attitude and this began to multiply instead of divide.
Her motivation, determination, and desire have given her the strength to be able to dream, the head to arrange her thoughts in hard times, fight for the next point and get her dreams fulfilled, and qualify for Roland Garros and Wimbledon.
This is just the beginning of this story, Fernanda will revolutionize tennis in Mexico, with her character she will make an impact on so many girls who will surely want to be like her. I work with Montse, one of the best in Mexico in lower categories of 14 and who has a view similar to her. She is excited and starting to work so that one day she can also tell her own story. Her life has just begun, will you be able to put it all together like Fernanda? I’m sure she will. We, at the Emilio Sanchez Academy, will help you.
We have a great motivation for next week in London. Personally, I am looking forward to seeing her and continue working to the fullest. Once past Wimbledon, we will do another small pre-season in Barcelona, and after some tournaments in Europe, we will do another session in Florida for the US Open.
To be continued…
Check out a piece of her story: FERNANDA INTERVIEW
Emilio Sánchez, CEO ES Academy.