Nadal fan who made a comeback at Roland Garros. Who is Varvara Gracheva

Sofia Kolodkina

Sofia Kolodkina

Gracheva won the opening match of Roland Garros

Following Daria Kasatkina and Iga Sviontek, the greatness of the Spaniard is recognized by the 71st racket of the world.

Varvara Gracheva, the first Russian woman in the WTA, printed Roland Garros – 4:6, 6:4, 7:5. In the opening match, she defeated Astra Sharma in the hardest three-set. The tennis player went on a comeback when there seemed to be no chance of salvation.


Keep it up!  Khachanov and Gracheva got the first victories for Russia at Roland Garros - 2022
Keep it up! Khachanov and Gracheva got the first victories for Russia at Roland Garros – 2022

Although the opponent was ranked even lower – No. 177 WTA Sharma led the game: she served sharply and famously parted in the corners, using a biting backhand with a short cross and along the line. It seemed that if the Australian played a couple more rallies in this style, her match. But rather, the lack of experience in decisive moments prevented her from completing it in her favor in the second game – she lost two games to zero and, at the same time, a hidden setpoint. Or maybe the mentality of the Russian woman turned on? No wonder Barbara’s idol is Rafa Nadal!

And what has always distinguished the 21-time TBSH champion from other tennis tops or prodigies? Right! An animal desire to play and win at any score, in any conditions and conditions – the phrase “not my day” simply does not exist for him. If in the figure the “ultra-c” component is quads in a cascade, then in tennis it is willpower: when the game is completely falling apart, Big-3 is rescued by the mentality and inner self-confidence for imminent changes. So Gracheva pulled out the match – she endured, returned everything to the court and was practically not mistaken.

Varvara Gracheva

Varvara Gracheva

Photo: Getty Images

“If there is anyone to be admired, it is definitely Nadal. He remains such a simple man, even with such an incredible amount of Grand Slams won. I did not communicate with him, but I saw how he behaves on the court and in life. My coach once met him. Of course, my mother also inspires me, ”said Gracheva.

It was she – Natalya Kazakova – who brought her daughter to the courts and was her coach until she was 14 years old. Varvara worked out at the Meteor sports center in Zhukovsky, then moved to Germany, where for some time she trained with ex-79th racket of the world Nina Bratchikova. Recently, she has been studying in France, at the Jean-Rene Lisna Academy, where she sometimes crosses paths with Daniil Medvedev. Since this is a tennis center, she is supervised by several coaches, so she performs with different specialists on the tour. The main coach is Jean-René Lisnar himself.
“I have a good right hand and a short cross, a long line on the left, there are no other outstanding shots. I like to play on the back line, ”said Varvara.

Moreover, Varvara is no longer a junior, but a strong middle peasant of the first hundred. Since the summer of 2018, the girl switched to the pro tour, then the results quickly went uphill. Having finished 2017 at 882nd position, she completed the first year on the adult tour 447th, and then made her debut in the second hundred.

Varvara Gracheva

Varvara Gracheva

Photo: Getty Images

With seven ITF titles on clay, she is a regular participant in TBSH – mostly in the first and second rounds. It was possible to run beyond these stages just on the favorite sand of Paris – in 2021 she played three laps there. Until recently, only specialists knew about Gracheva – there is no popularity in the media and among fans. So, perhaps, like her idol Rafa Nadal, the black horse “RG” -2022 from Russia will still surprise everyone.

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