Between the ages of 8 and 18, before young athletes start earning their first prize money, they have to incur significant costs:
- Traveling to tournaments (to get rating points)
- Training in professional tennis academies
- Working with coaches and sparring partners
- Rent of courts
- Buying equipment
- Registration of medical insurance, etc.
A tennis career requires a lot of financial investment
The estimated cost of the junior training process is approximately $100 thousand per year. These are covered in part by tennis federations, small equipment contracts (clothing, rackets), and sports agencies such as IMG, CAA, Octagon.
Lack of funds was a typical problem for most of the current stars in their youth career.
Example of Marat Safin
The IMG agency did not see the prospects for the Russian tennis player Marat Safin when watching at the age of 14, and Marat had to look for a sponsor for a very long time. Israeli businessman Bruce Rappoport had little understanding of the game but agreed to cover the costs of establishing Marat. Safin made it to the 1st line in the ATP rankings, won the Davis Cup twice, won 17 championships, including 2 titles at the Grand Slam championships, and was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame. During his career, he was able to earn $ 14.3 million in prize money.
To help promising players, TokenStars created ACE token
ACE provides financial support and promotion to young and promising tennis players at an early age so that they do not quit professional sports. This support greatly increases their chances of success. ACE also provides promotional services to active professional tennis players who already have value for major sponsors, but have been overlooked by traditional agencies.
When a player begins to achieve results, he begins to earn prize money (less than $ 1 million for a career for players below 400 in the ranking, more than $ 60 million for the top 5 players) and becomes a celebrity, signs contracts with advertisers (which, on average, bring in 5–10 times more money than sports wins).
ACE is decentralizing the talent sourcing process to ensure a steady flow of strong candidates. Unlike traditional agencies with a limited number of scouts in the state, ACE creates a Global Scout Network with a balanced motivation system to attract the most talented players to the ACE platform.
ACE uses a DCV (Decentralized Community Voting) mechanism to make various operational decisions. The smart community, relying on the results of analytical research, is able to make better decisions, as opposed to biased sports agents who rely on the gut.
The voting module is used as infrastructure support for other modules. The platform will hold polls among token holders on the significant decisions: one of the most meaningful use cases of voting is in the Scouting section, where fans provide their opinion on approving new players.
Up to August 2020, there were 23 voting procedures on the website for tennis juniors. Among these 23, two players were rejected by the community. This rate is low because a part of candidates does not pass the previous step, the experts review.
Over the past 20 months, 48 athletes have joined the scouting module. It may seem that this is not much. But it should be borne in mind that the number of tennis players is quite limited. Also, many of those with whom we communicate, interrupt their careers due to going to college.
We also hope that in the near future the number of athletes will increase, since we already have a portfolio of successful athletes, which is an important factor in concluding a contract with TokenStars for the new applicants.
We have received applications from all over the world, including countries that are not considered tennis, such as Tunisia, India, Hungary. This is in line with our goal of helping those athletes who do not have access to work with major scouting companies.
Up to now, four promising tennis players joined TokenStars:
- Melissa Boyden (the Netherlands)
- Valeria Olyanovskaya (Russia)
- Jasza Szarjych (Poland)
- Togan Tokac (Turkey)
Melissa Boyden started tennis at the age 5, at 6 she started playing at TC Zandvoort. From the age of 7, she played tournaments with her brother where they won the Haarlems Youth together. Melissa started 2018 at #2029 in the ITF junior rankings. She went to Bosnia where she went on to win after going through the qualifications, the week after into another final. She won another TE Under 16. She also won the National Championships U16. By the end of 2018, Melissa got into 9 ITF finals winning 2 singles and 1 double. She is now ranked 227 in the world, around 20 for her age 15. By New Year, she will be top 200. Melissa is very dedicated and hardworking, her aim is to get to be a professional.
Valeriya Olyanovskaya: “I’ve been a tennis player since the age of 5. Until 13 I trained in Moscow and played TE tournaments. Because of financial problems I didn’t play tournaments for 2 years, but it didn’t break me, I continued to train and believe in myself. At practice, I was noticed by the famous player Nadia Petrova (#3 WTA) who sponsored my trip to the Spanish Academy and then to Poland, where I met a famous coach Tomasz Iwanski. He said I have a great potential and I started working there with a coach Tomasz Zabrocki. After two years I achieved solid results breaking into TOP200 ITF juniors. I am very hard-working, purposeful and very motivated. And I believe that I can achieve a lot in tennis.”
Jasza Szajrych: “I am from Poznań, Poland. I am a 16 years old tennis player with one huge goal. I started playing tennis at the age of 8 and since the very beginning I loved it. I’m training every day and doing my best to improve as a person and also as a player. I am ambitious and stubborn. Tennis is my favorite thing in the world and I would love to be able to do this as a professional player in the future.”
Togan Tokac is from Turkey. He started playing tennis in early childhood at the age of 3. He trains under the guidance of his father Ali Tokac. In 2019 Togan won two titles in doubles — J5 Stavanger (w/ Peter Benjamin Privara) and J5 Telavi (w/ Edvards Teodors Liepins). He was the J5 Stavanger finalist in singles.
Recent results from the signed players
Even despite the difficult situation with the coronavirus, in 2020 Yasha Szarjych was able to win two ITF tournaments, J4 Warsaw and J4 Szczecin. Also this year he has an 88% win rate. Brilliant result!
In July 2020 Melissa Boyden reached the quarter-final of the Dutch National Championship for players under 18 in singles. So she is at the top-8 junior players in the Netherlands in the age group from 16 to 18 years old. She also became the national champion in doubles.
Valeriya Olyanovskaya started to play WTA matches in 2019 and shows confident dynamics. She improved her position from 1069th to 779th place. In January 2020 Valeriya won ITF Turkey 03A in a tournament in Antalya. In the final match, she masterfully defeated (6:0; 6–2) Silvia Njiric (WTA #610).
After showing results at J5 events in 2019, Togan Tokac started to play more demanding J3 tournaments. He reached semi-finals in two J3 events in Swedish Bromma and Trnava (Slovakia).
You can also make your submission on our platform and propose a talented player to join TokenStars’s scouting module and even get a reward!