Varvara Gracheva, born on August 2, 2000, is a professional tennis player from Zhukovsky, near Moscow.
Her tennis journey began early in her life, sparked by her mother, Natalya Kazakova, a former tennis player.
Kazakova first introduced young Varvara to the sport, and for several years she remained her coach. The first years of Gracheva’s training took place in their home city at the “Meteor” club.
Gracheva’s early career transitioned from her native Russia to Germany and then to Portugal, finally settling in Cannes, France. The right-handed athlete, comfortable playing on clay and hard court surfaces, started to make waves in her junior years.
She traveled extensively, participating in numerous European and international tournaments in the senior U-18 category.
She climbed up to the 19th position in the rankings, garnering attention and earning recognition for her skills on the court.
Gracheva’s professional debut came in 2016 at an ITF tournament in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. While her debut was short-lived, her determination was not thwarted.
A year later, she tasted victory for the first time, clinching her first ITF title. This achievement marked the beginning of her progression in professional tennis.
In 2018, Gracheva balanced appearances at both junior and adult tournaments, leading to her breakthrough into the top 400 WTA rankings and another win at a $15,000 tournament.
The following year saw Gracheva confirming her rising star status. Over the season, she managed to clinch five tournament wins, including three $25,000-set tournaments and two $60,000-set tournaments. As a result, she soared up the ranks to reach 105th place.
A significant development in Gracheva’s career occurred in June 2023 when she changed her nationality and began competing under the French flag. With her roots firmly planted in France, Gracheva’s future in tennis looks promising.
The article will delve further into her career, her development under various coaches, and her achievements, focusing on her present coach’s role in shaping her into the tennis player she is today.
Who Is Varvara Gracheva’s Coach in 2023?
Xavier Pujo, born on December 5, 1977, is a retired French professional tennis player who has transitioned to a successful coaching career.
As a player, Pujo reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of 279 on July 14, 2003, and a doubles ranking of 342 on February 18, 2008.
His on-court achievements include winning an ATP Challenger doubles title at the 2007 Saint-Brieuc Challenger.
Upon retiring from professional play, Pujo brought his expertise to coaching, serving as a coach and team captain at Villa Primrose since 2010.
In 2020, he joined the Elite Tennis Center (ETC), an institution renowned for its commitment to high-level performance and training.
The ETC team operates year-round and offers comprehensive training programs that include tennis coaching, physical preparation, mental preparation, and medical and nutritional follow-up.
In 2023, Pujo began coaching Varvara Gracheva. Under Pujo’s guidance, Gracheva had a year of notable successes.
She started the year by reaching the second round of qualifiers at the Auckland Open.
She displayed impressive form at the Australian Open, reaching the third round.
Gracheva had her first final appearance at the Austin Open. She also showcased strong performances in two WTA 1000 events – the Indian Wells and Miami Open, reaching the fourth round.
In these tournaments, Gracheva achieved her first top-5 and top-10 wins, respectively.
Under Pujo’s coaching, Gracheva reached her first WTA final and entered the third and fourth rounds of several high-profile tournaments.
She also had her first victories over top-ranked players. These successes significantly raised her profile in the tennis world, and by the end of their first year working together, Gracheva broke into the top 50 in the rankings.
Varvara Gracheva Past Coaches
Gérard Solvès, born on April 7, 1968, is a former French professional tennis player who has made significant strides in tennis as a player and a coach.
He arrived on the professional tennis scene in 1993, making it to the quarterfinals in Munich and Gstaad tournaments.
During these tournaments, Solvès demonstrated his skill by defeating formidable players, including world number 19 Henrik Holm at Munich and Wally Masur in Gstaad.
Solvès enjoyed a fruitful tennis career, participating in the singles draw of seven Grand Slams. His notable performances include playing in the men’s and mixed doubles at the 1994 and 1995 French Opens.
In the 1994 French Open, Solvès partnered with Fabrice Santoro. His first Grand Slam win came at the French Open in 1996 when he defeated Marcos Ondruska in a thrilling 285-minute match.
After an illustrious playing career, Solvès transitioned to a coaching role. His coaching career is marked by his work with several talented players like J.C Faurel, G. Carraz, A.
Sidorenko, S. Foretz, J. Coin, and J. Touil. Notably, Solvès has been instrumental in shaping the career of these players, guiding them towards significant successes.
Apart from coaching, Solvès has taken on the role of Sports Director at the Tennis Club de Paris. He also joined the Elite Tennis Center (ETC) in 2021, an organization focused on nurturing high-level performance in tennis.
ETC’s comprehensive program includes tennis coaching, physical preparation, mental preparation, and medical and nutritional follow-up. The dedicated ETC team works throughout the year, offering professional and personalized support to its players.
Around 2021-2022, Varvara Gracheva worked with Solvès. Although the details of their association are not fully clear, this period in Gracheva’s career coincided with Solvès’ tenure at the Elite Tennis Center.
It is likely that under Solvès’ guidance, Gracheva honed her skills and techniques, contributing to her progression in professional tennis.
Jean-René Lisnard is a renowned figure in the world of tennis, having an illustrious career both as a professional player and as a coach. As a player, Lisnard held the best ATP ranking of 84.
His career was highlighted by impressive victories over notable players such as Murray, Wawrinka, Berdych, T. Johanson, M. Norman, S. Grosjean, and M. Rios.
His achievements on the professional tour include winning five tournaments and reaching the third round at the Australian Open. Lisnard also had the honor of representing Monaco in the Davis Cup for eight years.
Following his successful career as a player, Lisnard transitioned into coaching, working with some of the top-ranked tennis players in the world.
He has coached Daniil Medvedev, Andrei Rublev, Fiona Ferro, Caroline Wozniacki, Katarina Zavatska, Varvara Gracheva, Johanna Konta, and Gilles Muller.
Each player has achieved significant rankings in their respective circuits, a testament to Lisnard’s effective coaching strategies.
Lisnard is also the founder of the Elite Tennis Center (ETC), a premier institution dedicated to nurturing high-performance tennis talent.
ETC provides comprehensive support in tennis coaching, physical preparation, mental preparation, and medical and nutritional follow-up. The organization operates year-round, offering professional and personalized guidance to its players.
Between 2016 and 2020, Lisnard worked closely with Varvara Gracheva. His coaching has contributed significantly to Gracheva’s tennis growth and development.
In an interview with Le Monde, Lisnard described Gracheva’s style of play, “It’s a steamroller. She plays fast but without missing. She chokes you, and she has strength.
She knows how to activate the ‘robot’ mode.” This quote gives insight into how Lisnard views Gracheva’s playing style and her capacity for focused, aggressive play.
Working with a coach of Lisnard’s caliber undoubtedly helped Gracheva improve her game and rise through the ranks.
His experience and dedication to high-performance training likely played a pivotal role in her tennis journey during those years.
Varvara Gracheva’s Achievements With Different Coaches
In the table, we have collected data about the trophies won by Varvara Gracheva under the guidance of various coaches.
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