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British star on life with the tennis elite
Around the Academy:

Miles Kasiri has enjoyed a successful summer
Miles celebrates winning the Stella Artois Juniors
The Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy has helped develop some of the biggest names in tennis - and now a young British star is hoping it can do the same for him.

Miles Kasiri spent four years at the world-famous Academy in Florida, and an appearance at this year's junior Wimbledon final suggests the experience is paying off.

Britain's brightest tennis prospect tells us how Bollettieri helped his career.


Sport Academy: How did you end up at Bollettieri?

Miles Kasiri: When I was 13 I was the best player for my age group in England. The training here wasn't that good then - although it's much better now.

Miles got the best training available
Miles spent four years in Florida

My parents realised that there wasn't a lot of success coming out of British tennis.

They knew that if I wanted to make a success of myself and be serious about the sport then I should go somewhere renowned for making you work hard and improve.

They met with Nick Bollettieri at Wimbledon one year and asked if he'd give me a scholarship to go and train with him in Florida.

Then he watched me play and we just took it from there.

SA: Bollettieri's has helped launch the careers of some of the biggest names in tennis. What's the atmosphere like in a place like that?

Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova
Sharapova honed her skills in Florida

MK: It is a competitive atmosphere. Obviously, there are a lot of professionals there, like Maria Sharapova, Tommy Haas, and Andre Agassi.

Everyone there is just very dedicated. They're working all the time, and that's a good environment to be in if you want to be a professional athlete.

SA: Take us through an average day at Bollettieri's

MK: It varies. On a tough day, they would wake us up at 6am and we'd go for a run until about 6.45.

Then we'd have breakfast and start tennis training from 8:00 - 10:30. That would be followed by fitness training in the gym from 10.30 - 11.30.

Then we'd rest for a few hours, before more tennis training from 3:00 - 5:30.

And you had to fit your schoolwork in in between! It was tough work, but I'm not afraid of that. I'm a determined and stubborn person, which probably helped!

SA: How do you control your nerves?

MK: Before most matches, especially a final at Wimbledon, you're nervous.

The best thing to do is just to relax. I always listen to music, which makes me excited rather than nervous. I listen to hip hop and R&B.



More about Miles
Born: 29 January 1986, Kent
Lives: London
Height: 5'9"
Plays: Right-handed (baseliner)
Ambition: To be the best I can be - to be among the top tennis players in the world
Did you know? Miles first remembers playing tennis at the age of two
His parents were always playing - so as soon as Miles could walk he was hitting a ball against a wall

Who is Nick Bollettieri?
Coaching guru Nick Bollettieri was born in North Pelham, New York, in 1931
He opened the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida in 1978
Having worked with some of the world's top players, he's now considered one of the most influential and successful coaches in tennis
In 1987 the Academy had 32 students in the main draw at Wimbledon and 27 at the US Open.
In 2002 Nick was inducted into the Italian American Sports Hall of Fame

Bollettieri stars
Maria Sharapova
Andre Agassi
Monica Seles
Anna Kournikova
Jim Courier
Tommy Haas



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