***The Eddie Herr 2011 Boys under 16 competition was of special interest to Canadian tennis fans as two young Canadian players Hugo Di Feo and Brayden Schnur were seeded #1 and #2 respectively. The eventual winner was a Canadian, a wild card entry in the event, unknown Tommy Mylnikov. His family lives in Manitoba, which could provide impetus to the idea that good Canadian tennis players could come from all part of the country rather than the traditional Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver area. To learn more about Tommy, please click here.***
ONcourt: Congratulations Tommy on your big win. Was it as surprising to you and your coaches as it was to the rest of Canadian tennis fans who had never heard of you?
Tommy Mylnikov: It may have been surprising to fans who didn’t know me that a wild card won, but I knew I could win. My coaches and I were confident of my abilities. I go into every tournament with the attitude that I will win.
ONcourt: There is much interest in knowing who Tommy Mylnikov is. Can you provide our readers with some information on your background? (i.e.where you were born, when you became Canadian, where you lived in Canada, where you started playing tennis, competitions in Canada, when you moved to Bollettieri)
Tommy Mylnikov: I was born in Israel where my grandmother lives. I moved to Canada when I was four years old. I played tennis at a country club in Manitoba with my coach George. He saw that I was a good player and since there wasn’t a lot of competition in the area he suggested I go to Florida. We went down to Naples and I heard about IMG Academy and I tried it out for a year. I have been here ever since.
ONcourt: We could say you have been flying under the radar of Canadian tennis, but no more after this big win. Do you plan to play for Canada in international team competitions, such as eventually in Davis Cup?
Tommy Mylnikov: We will see how it goes. My whole family is from Canada so I would play for Canada if given the opportunity.
ONcourt: When can Canadian fans expect to see you in Canada?
Tommy Mylnikov: I was up there last summer around July. It was the first time I had been back in 3 years. I am hoping to go back up in July this year for about 2 weeks to see family.
ONcourt: The Bollettieri academy is your home now, can you describe what the place means to you?
Tommy Mylnikov: This place is the best academy for tennis. We have the best players, which means the best daily competition, and the best coaches. My coaching team helps me out with everything from tennis to physical training to mental conditioning. All that they are teaching here is helping me become the most complete athlete possible.
ONcourt: Thank you Tommy and good luck in your on-going journey to success.