9-year-old tennis player from Rio Grande do Sul impresses by winning adult tournament in Rio Grande do Sul


It was with his grandfather’s encouragement, after receiving his first racket at the age of eight, that Bernardo Horta Soares had his first contact with tennis. From then on, he never stopped. Currently, he has stood out in the sport by winning titles, even in categories above his level.. Despite his young age, the boy impresses wherever he goes, as, at the age of nine, he has accumulated several state trophies in the 10-year-old category. At state level, the athlete also reached the quarterfinals of the Caxias Open, in the over 12 category. Last month, the feat was even more significant: he reached the highest place on the podium of the Pelotense Adult Tennis Circuit, held in Pelotas.

Born in São Lourenço do Sul, Bernardo has always dreamed of being a professional tennis player. It was then that the family decided to add additional hours of specific physical training every day, in addition to pilates and a sports psychologist specializing in tennis. The results began to improve and the athlete was hired by Grêmio Náutico União (GNU), which added support for the young tennis player’s training.

“We have to be careful that he is always strong and, above all, happy, dividing his time with school and training on the court”, says his father, Dionelo Soares

Because he lives in the countryside and has few children his age to compete with, Bernardo always trains and plays only with adults. This was also one of the reasons why he started to compete in most tournaments in the bigger categories. Last month, Bernardo stood out by winning the title in Pelotas. The young man raised the level of the competition by winning the cup even at the age of nine, a fact that impressed the audience present at the tournament.

Young tennis player prepares to train in the USA later this year
| Photo: Luiz Candido / CBT

Regarding the young man’s heavy routine, Bernardo’s father, Dionelo Soares, comments on the importance of reconciling sport with childhood. “We have to be careful that he is always strong and, above all, happy, dividing his time between school and training on the court,” he says. In total, Bernardo takes private English lessons, has two to three hours of training on the court and one hour of physical preparation per week. This year, he did a pre-season alongside his father and former tennis player Carlos Kyrmair, in Uruguay, in addition to up to six hours of training with the GNU coaching team coordinated by Rodrigo Silveira.

Dionelo also highlights that tennis is a very difficult and early sport, hence the importance of working hard even when you are young. “We are working hard on its formation, bases and principles, something that will make things much easier in the future,” he says. “This year we have a youth calendar to be completed in the 12-year-old category. In addition to the 3rd class adult tournaments, we are negotiating for the end of the year that you will go to spend a season at the USTA headquarters in the USA, training and participating in some tournaments”, he adds.

The article is in Portuguese

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