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Alex's Ascent: Inside Molcan's Dramatic Rise To The High 100

When Alex Molcan launched into his 2021 marketing campaign, the 23-year-old already knew it might be his finest season but. After years of harm setbacks and struggles to seek out confidence and consistency, Molcan was lastly turning the nook.

Wholesome and able to make his transfer up the FedEx ATP Rankings, the budding Slovakian star was poised to make 2021 his breakout 12 months.

However an increase to the year-end High 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings? Even he admits that was the furthest factor from his thoughts.

“It is the primary time for me within the High 100 and I am actually blissful that I made it this 12 months,” stated Molcan. “I did not suppose it was doable from a High 300 rating to get to the High 100 in a single 12 months. I simply thank my coaches and my group who made it doable for me to remain wholesome. I’ll attempt to enhance my sport much more, put together nicely and want for the perfect within the subsequent season. We’ll see what is going on to occur.”

Molcan loved one of many greatest jumps to the year-end High 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings in 2021, hovering a complete of 225 spots. After launching his marketing campaign at No. 312, he would rise to a career-high No. 87 following a title run on the ATP Challenger Tour occasion in Helsinki on Sunday.

Largest Movers To The Yr-Finish High 100

Participant Rating Bounce
Yr-Finish 2020 – 2021
Juan Manuel Cerundolo +252 341 – 89
Jenson Brooksby +251 307 – 56
Alex Molcan +225 312 – 87
Sebastian Baez +212 309 – 97

Molcan’s story began on the age of 5, when his mother and father launched him to the sport in his native Presov, Slovakia. He additionally performed soccer and ice hockey, however when the native tennis coaches instructed him that he had the expertise to go far, the choice was made.

Whereas a younger Alex had all of the instruments to take the following step, it was the assist of his mom Andrea that was essentially the most essential a part of his improvement and his early profession. He explains that with out his mother’s sacrifice, which included uprooting her life and shifting to the Slovakian capital of Bratislava so her son might practice at the perfect services, he wouldn’t be within the High 100 in the present day.

“All good tennis gamers must go from dwelling to someplace else to coach and play,” stated Molcan. “That is my expertise, going from my hometown to Bratislava after I was 12. I did not know anybody however my mom. I went to high school there and it was laborious, as a result of I used to be one man from one other metropolis. Each participant has to sacrifice one thing to be good. My mother sacrificed quite a bit for me to be the particular person and the tennis participant I’m in the present day. She all the time supported me to play tennis and he or she modified her life due to me.”

When Molcan’s mom moved again to their hometown three years later, he was left to navigate life on the junior circuit alone. The highway to the highest isn’t a linear one and following a rash of accidents, the Slovak had many obstacles to beat to place himself in place to have a profitable profession.

Shoulder and again illnesses plagued Molcan in his teenage years. With none consistency, he says he was caught round 300 within the FedEx ATP Rankings as he launched his professional profession. The Slovak underwent wrist surgical procedure in 2017 and he would undergo an stomach tear the next 12 months.

A primary Challenger last look got here in Sevilla in 2018, and that style of success would drive him to work even tougher and dedicate himself to benefit from his alternatives. He entered 2021 able to take the tour by storm.

“If you wish to change, you need to work. This 12 months, we ready actually good. Within the winter, we did three weeks coaching within the mountains in Slovakia. No tennis for 20 days, however lots of working and dealing with the opposite Slovakian gamers. It was actually good for me and I used to be ready for the season. All the things is sort of a puzzle and now I’m placing the puzzle collectively.”

Molcan

The lone Slovakian within the year-end High 100, Molcan flexed his muscle all through his breakthrough season. It began with a press release win over #NextGenATP star Lorenzo Musetti on the Gran Canaria Challenger in February. From there, he would attain his first ATP Tour last in Belgrade as a qualifier, earlier than falling to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, and his maiden Challenger crown would arrive quickly after in Liberec, Czech Republic.

“I’ll always remember after we had been warming up earlier than the match and the announcer was introducing us and saying ‘Novak Djokovic, World No. 1, 18 Grand Slams’. To be there was wonderful. I had goosebumps. That event was an enormous confidence enhance. Taking part in Djokovic within the last was the largest expertise I’ve ever had. I took lots of info from that match, to see how Djokovic performs. He is not taking part in loopy quick and he does not have a giant serve, however to see his logic and intelligence on the court docket was massive for me. I took lots of info from him.”

Molcan continued to alternate success at each ranges, additionally qualifying for his first Grand Slam, en path to the US Open third spherical. And he would conclude his marketing campaign in dominant trend, reaching back-to-back Challenger semi-finals in Bergamo and Bratislava, earlier than lifting his second crown in Helsinki, Finland, on Sunday.

“I am actually blissful that the final event of the season is a successful event,” Molcan added. “High 100 is in fact one thing each single participant is dreaming about. Now that I am there, I’ll attempt to get to a fair higher place and give attention to having a great preseason and play nicely subsequent 12 months.”

Get To Know Alex
Tennis idol: Rafa, in fact. The best way he’s preventing on a regular basis, his mentality and his forehand. It is loopy. I like to look at him greater than anybody else.

Largest ardour: Vehicles. I’m a automobile man. From the costly ones, my favorite is Ferrari. From the conventional automobiles, it must be BMW. I personal a BMW 340i. It is quick. I am additionally a fan of Components One. Since I watched the Netflix present ‘Drive to Survive’ and they’re exhibiting the background of the game, I prefer it extra. That is why I like Ferrari.

Dream job: Enterprise man. It is just like tennis. If you wish to be good, you need to work at it. If you wish to earn the cash, you might want to work loopy laborious to be there. I prefer it. My mom’s boyfriend is a enterprise man. It is actually aggravating, however I like the way it works. It’s important to construct your model.

Favorite meals: At houses, it is pancakes with Nutella and whipped cream. On tour, it is sushi. You will get good sushi in every single place, however I adore it. Throughout the US Open, we went to Nippon, the primary Japanese restaurant in New York Metropolis.

Tattoos: I like tattoos. Once I was 18, I acquired my first tattoo. It’s my mom’s birthdate. That was the start line and I knew I might have extra. I like how they give the impression of being. Yearly within the winter, often in November and December, I get one thing. I discover which means within the tattoos. I’ve a tiger on my proper arm and I just like the Asian tradition, so I’ve a temple, a lotus flower and a buddha too. Many issues. I additionally like mythology and animals.


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