Garcia-Lopez & Gaubas: The Player-Coach Duo Turned Doubles Partners | ATP Tour | Tennis

For any teen trying to make progress on the ATP Challenger Tour, being coached by a former Top-25 participant is an effective place to start out.

Lithuanian Vilius Gaubas is simply getting his professional profession began. The 18-year-old is working with former World No. 23 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who Gaubas even satisfied to play doubles with him on the 2022 Vilnius Challenger.

This week, the house hope Gaubas pushed World No. 168 Elias Ymer to a three-set battle on the Vitas Gerulaitis Cup. Despite the loss, {the teenager}, who’s No. 760 within the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, is drawing on positives from Tuesday’’s efficiency and is maintaining his sights on a powerful displaying in 2023. spoke with Gaubas and Garcia-Lopez to be taught extra about their partnership, the teenager’s background, and the Spaniard’s reminiscences of his early days on the Challenger Tour.


Vilius, how did you meet Guillermo?
We met perhaps three years in the past. I used to be practising with a coach that Guillermo is aware of and some days later I bought to practise with Guillermo in Alicante, Spain.

Tell me in regards to the expertise of taking part in doubles collectively on the 2022 Vilnius Open.
It was my final ATP match. Vilius wished to play with me in doubles. I mentioned, ‘Why not?’ We bought a wild card right here. I can nonetheless play a bit little bit of doubles, I’m nonetheless in fine condition.

How was that have?
It was good. I bought to play with my coach, who additionally made the US Open doubles closing [2016].

What does the following few months maintain for you guys?
We are planning to play Challengers in Italy. We are going to begin to play on clay after this week. Before that Challenger, we are going to play one ITF Future occasion, additionally in Italy. He didn’t play on clay the previous three or 4 months, so he has to adapt to the clay first. We need to enhance in all areas. Technique, techniques, after all rating, and all the pieces.

A troublesome match this week in opposition to Elias Ymer. What positives are you drawing from that three-setter?
I feel it was a constructive match, I used to be taking part in properly. I feel ultimately it was only a lack of expertise in opposition to a participant who has rather more expertise and a greater rating.

<a href=Vilius Gaubas in motion on the 2023 Vilnius Challenger.” />
Vilius Gaubas in motion on the 2023 Vilnius Challenger. Credit: Saulius Čirba

How did you begin taking part in tennis?
I began in a small metropolis, Siauliai, three hours from Vilnius. I used to be perhaps 4 years outdated. My dad and mom introduced me to it and I keep in mind I used to be taking part in on carpet courts with small plastic racquets.

Guillermo, what’s the largest distinction going from an ATP participant to a coach?
It’s a lot totally different. Now, I’m completely outdoors the court docket. Everything is extra clear and simple. The participant has the tough job.

What are your finest reminiscences of taking part in on the Challenger Tour?
My first closing in Seville. I made it previous the qualifying, powerful matches in opposition to Spanish gamers on clay courts. That was in all probability my finest reminiscence from the Challengers. I performed actually good, I believed I might play that type of stage. I didn’t win the match however after that I used to be rising up and people type of tournaments offer you numerous confidence.

Vilius, what’s it wish to make the step from juniors to the Challenger stage?
I feel the largest factor is the psychological half. In juniors, there’s many gamers who’re a rollercoaster mentally. In Challengers, gamers are extra stable and mentally steady. Tennis-wise, there’s some distinction however not as a lot as mentally.

What are your reminiscences of watching tennis as a child? Did you idolise any participant?
I at all times loved watching Roland Garros and the clay-court season. When Nadal, Djokovic, and Federer had been taking part in in opposition to one another, these had been nice, lengthy matches. Dominic Thiem and Casper Ruud are additionally a few of my favorite gamers.

Talk about your expertise as a ballboy.
It was one of many Davis Cups. Lithuania was taking part in Cyprus. There was a mini-tennis match that they did for small youngsters and the winner bought to play a mini-tennis match with Ricardas Berankis. I gained the match and I bought to play with Berankis. It was a good time. Now, I’m taking part in the identical match [2023 Vilnius Challenger] as him.

<a href=Vilius Gaubas (left) and Ricardas Berankis on the 2013 Davis Cup tie in opposition to Cyprus.” />
Vilius Gaubas (left) and Ricardas Berankis on the 2013 Davis Cup tie in opposition to Cyprus.

What do you get pleasure from doing in your free time?
I wish to mountain bike. Especially going alone with music on the sunny days in Alicante, it’s enjoyable.

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