OTR Coach Jason Sankey reports from Thailand

Dino Dell’Orto and myself set off for Thailand this summer to play 2 tough, group 4 ITF events in Bangkok. Dino has spent the last year training in Spain and it was now time to put his training to practice. We had very different goals when we went into the tournaments. Dino’s goals were to get some ITF points; mine were to see his improvement and to learn from the matches. Dino played a great first week, winning his first two qualifying matches against good opponents and finally losing in the finals of qualifying 6-4 in the third to a 6 ft Indian player with an enormous serve. Dino played his heart out and was lucky enough to get into the maindraw as a lucky loser where he played a Thai player. He lost the match 6-0, 6-4 but learnt a lot. He also paired up with Darren Ng to make it to the second round of the doubles before falling to the number 3 seeds. Throughout the tournament, I feel Dino learnt a lot, as did I. Dino’s main problem is his result rather than process-orientated mind-set. He is so focussed on the win that sometimes he is unable to play his best tennis. I believe he played his best tennis in the doubles first round where he just relaxed, let loose and played with a relaxed intensity. In the second week, the heat and the previous 6 matches had taken its toll on his body. He lost in the first round of the singles to a player both of us felt he could’ve performed better against. Dino is now in Europe playing a bunch of ITF’s in England, Ireland then Switzerland before coming back to HK for some more training. Dino is currently working on his D.N.O and 8 opposites. These are shot-selection and point-construction theories that the OTR team will be introducing to juniors starting in September.

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