Speeches before the EMPIRE Slovak Open 2018

Tournament Director's Speech

Dear tennis friends,

we are all very excited to have a privilege to offer our supporters – together with my colleagues at TC EMPIRE club – the 10th annual international women’s tournament EMPIRE Slovak Open 2018.

When our tournament began to write own history - in the first week of August 2009 - none of us did not know how this effort will help the future of Slovak tennis, our town Trnava and also of our tennis club.

Now we are in the beginning of 10th year of the tournament. I have to say, honestly, this is a fair story. The story of the tournament, which brought players, spectators and people who love tennis lot of experiences and beautiful moments and memories.

We have had interesting development. As the years go by, and besides the tournament prize money were growing, we made another significant development after the period 2009 – 2012. We moved the tournament date from first week in August to earlier days – to days, when the clay season is running at full. New date and significant amount of money started to be great attraction for the best players, as they look like to be well prepared for Roland Garros grand slam tournament in advance.

We would be very glad to hold this date in ITF tournament list in the future, too. Tournament history and area, where the event is played, is promising for us and give us assurance, that our ambition to do it our way is legitimate.

Trnava’s tournament – together with its own schedule, environments and accompanying events – offers you also variable options how to spend pleasant days in our club. There is a lot of possibilities for small children too how to relax and have fun accompanying with their parents.

It’s a huge lift for us to know, that many players love to return to Trnava. Not just to play the tournament but they used to come to our club out of tournament date, to prepare for their next matches. This is our main effort – to bring the players nice and wishful conditions, where they would find everything necessary for their preparation and tennis growth.

We are very excited to open in addition new place of our EMPIRE Tennis Academy building this year, too. There, top tennis players and children will find exceptional conditions for tennis training, rehabilitation, regeneration and health care itself.

I am very glad there will be significant Slovak players this year too. We are looking forward to see four of them in the main round: Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, Viktoria Kuzmova, Rebecca Sramkova and Tereza Mihalikova. I hope it’s an indication we will see great games in confrontation with foreign players. Last, but not least, this is also a great motivation for spectators to come here and support our girls.

Previous winners of the tournament, Anastasia Sevastova, Barbora Strycova, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, Danka Kovinic, Katerina Siniakova and Marketa Vondrousova helped the tournament prestige in the past a lot. The importance and visibility of EMPIRE Slovak Open oblige us to prepare the whole competition with dignity, which will help Slovak tennis once again.

This year tournament will be running with a prize money of 100 000 USD. My huge thanks go to tournament partners for their support. Because of them we can organize this biggest clay tournament in Slovakia.

The future of this event especially motivates me, because I had great people around me. Without them this tournament could not be held.

EMPIRE Slovak Open 2018 has fantastic players in the main round this time. We had 10 players from Top 100 WTA rankings. Almost all women are ranked higher then 120-th place. There are a lot of Slovak players, what is another promising moment of the upcoming competition. It looks like we would have exceptional tournament.

So, let me warmly invite all fans and supporters to Trnava to see world-class tennis clashes.

Welcome in Trnava, welcome at EMPIRE Slovak Open 2018!

Miroslav Hlavna, Tournament Director


Slovak Tennis Association President‘s Speech

Dear friends of tennis,

EMPIRE Slovak Open is celebrating its anniversary this year: in the beautiful venue in Trnava, there will be the tenth year of the biggest woman‘s tennis tournament in Slovakia. One thousand dollars prize money, the experience of the past years and the brilliant support – those are the reasons why so many players like coming back to the International Slovak Women‘s Championship.

Skimming through the names of the enlisted players just before publishing this bulletin, I have been feeling really delighted. 10 players out of the world´s best 100 players have entered to the tournament. It would be very symbolic, if we really had such a number of best players, even after the latest updates.

Among the enlisted players, you can find two winners from the previous years. The only Slovak player with the singles trophy in Trnava is Karolina Schmiedlova, the latest winner of the WTA tournament in Bogota. After a difficult period and a rankings drop, our NTC player fought to the top 100 best tennis players of the world again, so she should also be seeded.

Apart from her, also Rebecca Sramkova (wild card) and Viktoria Kuzmova are playing at the EMPIRE Slovak Open. That means that the spectators will be able to see almost all the young members of the Slovak Fedcup team. And in Trnava, of course, the audience can follow even the other Slovak players, ever since they had been qualified.

I believe that such popular names as Yanina Wickmayer from Belgium, former TOP 10 member Eugenie Bouchard from Canada, Andrea Petkovic from Germany, even the former world No. 2 Vera Zvonareva will attract the audience.

I am happy that we are organizing such a tournament in Slovakia.  I would like to express my appreciation to the organizers from TC EMPIRE. They take care of the club whose activities are not only aimed at the development of tennis, but also at keeping the environment of the attractive venue, so that the participants of the international tournament can enjoy the perfect conditions for the sport.

For the 10th year anniversary tournament, I wish the trouble-free progress of the tournament to the organizers, comfort and good shape for to players, and the pleasures of watching good sports to the spectators.

Tibor Macko, The president of the Slovak Tennis Association

Photos by: 
Ivan Kopčáni, www.empireslovakopen.sk