March 16, 2020 – The energetic yet promising eighteen-year-old tennis player, Eric Vanshelboim, from his birth has been identified as someone who is going to take the world by surprise when it comes to tennis sport. This young yet athletic sportsman was born in Sarajevo, and had lived the better part of his life in Denmark. To hone his skills and agility, Eric chose to be trained in spain by a team of renowned tennis coaches headed by Rune Thomsen who had been giving him all necessary yet fundamental knowledge of tennis games. However, in the early part of 2020, Eric decided to join the Ukrainian team for the Davis Cup match against Hungary – that he did in order to bring honour and glory to Ukraine.
Due to Eric doggedness and persistence, he has played in all four major junior Grand Slams (Rolland Garros, Wimbledon, Australian Open and US Open). In Rolland Garros and Wimbledon, he made it to the second round in singles, and in Rolland Garros, he also went to the semifinal in doubles. All those contests were keenly contested and Eric gave all his opponents a good run for their money. In the month of February 2019, Eric was eventually announced as the winner of the grade 1 junior ITF tournament in Kazan, Russia, which is known as an unofficial CIS championship on hardcourt. In that tournament, Eric was tipped as nothing but an underdog who would not go far in that sport.
However, being a professional and disciplined tennis player, Eric surprised and eventually silenced all his critics by defeating his opponent in a match that initially seemed a one-horse race. In addition to that, Eric moved from an amateur player to professional in October 2018 in Antalya, Turkey. In his first tournament, he won three matches in qualification and then went all the way to the quarterfinals. In his first-round main draw match, Eric beat an Australian Chris O’Connell who is now ranked in top 200 ATP. However, it should be noted that he was allowed to play in Anning, China in January 2019, by providence because of his high junior ranking status. While he was younger, he had also played in U-10 tournament in Florida, USA, at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy (IMG), where he ended up as runner-up in singles but won both doubles and mixed doubles in a perfectly executed match.
Therefore, having announced his presence as a force to reckon with in tennis sport, Eric got selected by the captain, Andrey Medvedev, for the Ukrainian David Cup team alongside three other experienced players. He was the youngest in the team as others are between 32-33 years of age. After getting a national call from Ukraine, Eric started getting juicy offers from other national teams, but for his resolute and patriotism, he refused to be tempted but always expressed his willingness to play for Ukraine at any given opportunity.
While being interviewed by a team of seasoned tennis sports journalists, Eric said, “What keeps me going is the fact is that I want to be remembered as a person who did something positive for tennis, Ukraine and the whole world. Ukraine has given me everything I needed, and my parents spent their childhood in Ukraine, and also my older brother was born in Kiev so I think the least I could do is to give my all to the national tennis team of this great nation.”
Unlike some other tennis players who do not know the direction in which they want their life to go, Eric has already chosen his own direction, life long goals and believes that the national call up and every minutes spent on every tennis court is a call to give his best to the country he represents and he must seize those moments to reach a new peak in his career and life.