Tennis Europe Junior Tour

In the Spotlight: Tamina Kochta

In the Spotlight: Tamina Kochta

A regular on the Junior Tour, Tamina Kochta has had plenty of success while travelling across Europe. The Munich native has been a proud representative of Germany in the team competitions and also had an impressive run to the quarters at the European Junior Championships last year in Most. She fell to #4 Sara Oliveriusova, but not before posting some big wins along the way, including a second round upset over third seed Hollie Smart and a fourth round win over Junior Masters finalist Barbara Kostecka. Here’s what the bubbly Bavarian had to say.

How did you feel about getting into last year's Junior Masters?
Actually, I wasn’t expecting an invitation from Tennis Europe! I actually wanted to play another tournament because the indoor season started but then I started to play outdoors again, and so Monte-Carlo, and being there was unbelievable.

You had one win and two losses in Monte-Carlo, got to a third set against the eventual runner up Barbara, who you are good friends with, as well as Giulia Popa…is it hard to play against your friends?
Yes, we are friends but there’s always competition and you know you could end up facing anybody in the first round. I had a really good experience and in the last match, I had to give up because of my injury but the other one was great for my experience.

When was the first time you ever thought “I want to be a tennis player” and dedicate time to making that happen?
At first, I played with my mum [Renata Kochta], because she was a professional player and I liked it…to be honest I can’t remember the exact moment, but I was really young. When I was nine years old, I was winning tournaments and I liked that feeling very much. Then I started to play internationally.

How did you first hear about Tennis Europe and the Junior Tour?
I just knew that it was international, and that was incredible for me, because I just played tournaments in Germany but then I thought ‘I can play tournaments another countries’. My first tournament was in Switzerland.

In general, what are your impressions of the tour?
It’s really nice, because you get to meet all the players and you make new friendships and have friends at all the first tournament and that goes on to the next one, so you make friendships for life. Also, you can see how people from other countries play and you can visit countries you’ve never been to before.

What are some of the places that you visited that you really enjoyed?
Of course, in Monte-Carlo it’s beautiful. I really liked Italy; the Summer Cups were special.

Are there any other tournaments that you really enjoyed playing?
Well, of course, the Summer Cups. And I also really enjoyed playing the 12 and Under Festival at the Rafa Nadal Academy, It was really special for me because I also met Rafa personally. Plus, there were some tournaments that I liked because I never been to that country before for example, Montenegro, so for me, this was very special because I saw many things I had never seen before.

Is there any country that you’ve never visited? That would be your dream to go to one day.
I’d really like to go to Finland and the good thing about Tennis Europe is that there are tournaments there too. Outside of Europe, it would be amazing to go to Indian Wells because I think it just looks so beautiful.

Who are some of the players that you look up to or that you enjoy watching?
I have many, not just one specific player. Rybakina, Swiatek and Sabalenka. I like their games and what their journeys were like. And the men: Alcaraz and Nadal.

I know you and your family post a lot on social media, so how do you deal with that side of things and let’s say, what’s your relationship with social media?
Well, I really like it. I think you can see how other others train and what other people are like. You can even write to them and ask them to pay doubles!! (Thinking)  And getting a repost from Tennis Europe is always nice!

I’ve also seen a little brother on social media. He plays too.
Yes, and my little sister!

Wow, that’s a big Tennis family! So, is there a lot of competition there between you guys? Because, for now, you’re the biggest one…
Yes, I always win, and my brother wins sometimes…

Points, games or matches?
Points!! (Laughs) but they both play so well, so one day they’ll play Tennis Europe also.

That would be wonderful! What would you say is the strongest part of your game?
I like to attack and hit winners and to be the one who makes the first move.

Is there anything that you could perhaps work on a little more?
(Smiles) Well, actually on every shot I can get better - I am only 14! I will train very hard to try and reach my goals.

Since Monte-Carlo you have officially moved up to the 16 and Under. What are some of the main differences that you can see?
For me there aren’t that many differences because you change with the others and get older, so you don’t really notice it. Now when I go to the U14 players, I always think to myself, I certainly wasn’t that small!!

You played for Germany in the recent 16&U Winter Cups. How was that experience for you?
It’s always a great experience playing for your country. It doesn’t feel like the individual tournaments, it’s more teamwork, and I like that; not about playing for yourself. Also, you can see the best players from each country and play against them.

So that’s it for the 14 and Under what are your plans for this year, moving forward?
The TEJT tour is almost finished for me. I had the best time ever!! I will never forget it. I didn’t miss one important tournament like the 12&U Festival in Mallorca, The European Junior Championships, Les Petit As, Monte Carlo… but now it’s my brother & and little sister’s turn! With my TE experience, I know they will have a great time as well. My plan is to play more ITFs to reach the top 100. I have already won 6 trophies (5x60 and 1x30). Of course, I would like to take part at the 16&U European Junior Championships and compete against the best from Europe. The same goes for the 16&U Summer Cups. And a big target is to play a junior grand slam this year or next year!

And beyond that, what are some of your big dreams?
Well, maybe the first of all, top 100 in the WTA, and then just going on and see what happens (smiles)

Thank you so much for your time. We loved talking to you and also watching you play… and also thank you to your family for being such big supporters of the Tennis Europe Junior Tour!
Thank you too! 

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