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Israel Tennis Center No.1 in Europe

Valria Patiuk (13), who trains in the Israel Tennis Center Elite Program, is now ranked Number 1 in Europe in the Girls’ Under 14 category.

Valeria – or better known as “Lera”  began her tennis career at the ITC-Jaffa, and now trains in Ramat Hasharon as part of the Elite Program headed by Dr. Yuval Higger, as a day boarder in the Velva G. and Fred H. Levine Endowed Residence Academy.

Dr. Higger is no newcomer to success, having managed and been coach to Shahar Pe’er, Zipi Obziler, Gilad Bloom and Harel Levy at the peak of their careers. In line with his philosophy of an integrated approach to player development, he has built a professional team to support Lera. The team consists of her tennis coach of several years, Lev Teplizky, former players Shiri Burstein and Anna Smashnova and psychologist Hila Harel. Also a part of the team, Dr. Higger himself functions as Lera’s physical ability coach assisted by Eyal Rott. The team members work on different aspects in developing the player’s game, according to their professional area of expertise.

When the Elite Program was set up two years ago, this integrated approach was introduced and applies to all the juniors in this program. The results have not been slow in following. We now have seven junior players ranked in the top 120 in Europe in different age groups, comprised of:

* 1 player -   Top 1

* 1 player -   Top 10

* 1 player -   Top 20

* 2 players – Top 100

* 2 players – Top 120

(From Left to Right): Dr. Yuval Higger head of the ITC Elite Program, Valeria Patiuk, ITC CEO Janine Strauss and Mr Salco Kleerkoper, Founder and Chairman of TASC and Lera’s sponsor

Lera’s achievement was celebrated at a ceremony held last Wednesday in the office of Israel Tennis Center CEO, Adv. Janine Strauss, attended by Mr. Salco Kleerkoper, Lera’s sponsor and founder and Chairman of TASC, along with the professional team working with Lera. “”"”The Israel Tennis Center is very proud of Lera and acknowledges the investment of Dr. Higger and the professional staff of our Elite Program who helped her reach this enormous achievement. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Mr. Kleerkoper, who trusted the recommendation of the ITC’s professional team and who has supported Lera for the past 3 years. I am glad that we are on the right track to cultivating the future generation of Israeli tennis”, said Ms. Strauss.

(From Left to Right): Shiri Burstein, Mr Salco Kleerkoper, Founder and Chairman of TASC and Lera’s sponsor, Anna Smashnova, Valeria Patiuk, ITC CEO Janine Strauss and Dr. Yuval Higger head of the ITC Elite Program

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