Lara Panfilov arrived to the academy JCFerrero-Equelite two years ago. Since then, her enormous capacity and potential for learning, which motivates and reinforces the work done by the coaches, has made her to improve rapidly.
After winning the championship U16 in her country, and got victories in several national tournaments in Spain, Lara will combine the junior circuit with the WTA. In both of them, despite the fact that she hasn’t participated in many tournaments, she has left her mark on them, in fact, in her two first WTA tournaments she got a partial of 5 victories against 2 defeats, achieving her first point WTA.
Hi Lara, please tell us, when did you start playing tennis?
I started playing tennis when I was around 7 or 8 years old, because my brother started to play and when I was younger I wanted to do everything that my brother did, so I started and I really liked it, I felt in love immediately but I couldn’t have the opportunity to do as many lessons as I wanted. At one point, my parents even told that tennis was too expensive and it was easier to do something else but I started crying so much because I loved it a lot so they let me continue with tennis, and then I tried to practice more and more but in Holland I didn’t have a great club, I didn’t have many coaches so I started playing non professional tournaments but nothing serious.
How did you decide to come to Equelite?
As I said, in Holland I didn’t have great opportunities so I searched the possibility to combine my tennis and school, I was searching that had everything, I mean a place where you could practice, fitness and study….so that is why I started looking around and I came here. For the first day I knew it was perfect for me and I have been here since then very happy about the opportunity to be here and continue to improve my tennis as well as fitness and school. I am very happy.
What is the thing that you most like about being in the academy?
well, as I said about this place is that we are a big family, everyone knows everyone. We are working together every day, people are so friendly. But the most important thing is that they really care about you, the fitness coaches, the tennis coaches try to do the things mentally and try to help you as much as possible, they take care of you like their own kid so they can bring you extremely far.
What are you objective for this season?
I stopped playing the tournaments in Holland because try to get to an international level, so I started playing more ITF and I played my first WTA tournament now, which went very well. But the main goal for me this season is to try to be around top 700 WTA and around 200-300 ITF.
You played you first WTA, how it was?
I have just got my first WTA point a couple of week ago in Tunisia where it was the first Future I played, I am very happy with that but at the same time I know that we have a long way ahead of us so I am going to play a couple of junior ITF more and try to get ranking there and then continue to work. But then main goal for us is the WTA tournaments because in the end I want to be a great professional player.
Do you have an idol?
For sure Rafa Nadal, without any doubt the way he fights for every ball, besides his humility, he is incredible for me, is a great inspiration.
Do you base your play on him?
No, the thing about Nadal is that as much as I love his play I can never play the way he plays. A lot of people when see me may think that I am a huge Federer fan because I have a Wilson racquet, I have his type of play, the aggressive attack with the forehand and the get in shock of how can be Nadal your favourite player if you play like Federer. But in the end that is what works for me and the thing I love most about Nadal is his strength so I try to learn from him.
Do you have a dream?
Sure! I would like to win Wimbledon, since I was a child that has been my dream as well as to be World no.1.
How do you describe yourself as a tennis player?
Well, I think that I am a person who always try to do my best, but at the same time I get really upset or even angry if things don’t work out the way I wanted to. I like to work a lot and hard but I think there is always a way to keep improving
Last year you had Wilson as a racquet sponsor, and this year you have got Duruus for clothing and other staffs. How did you get these sponsors?
I should be really thankful to Iñaki who works here, and was able to get me the Duruus contract which I was extremely happy because I was in an injury so it gave me extra motivation to come back and then really improve myself. This year we have started working with Duruus whichs is an ama¡zing brand that is started to sponsor tennis players, and being part of their team is great. I love the clothes, the style is very elegant and classic, it looks very good on you.
Thank you very much