Interview with Carlos Sanchez
People tell me that my game is similar to Fernando Verdasco
Carlos Sanchez is the reigning Under-16 boys’ singles champion and a student at Juan Carlos Ferrero’s Equelite Academy in Spain
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I was born in Albacete but I live with my family in Elda, which is 20 minutes from the academy, where I train from Monday to Saturday. I train about six hours a day and I study with the CIDEAD [Spanish distance learning system]. I have a little brother, his name is Edu and he is 12. He also trains like me in the academy, although he only trains in the afternoons and goes to school in the mornings.
When did you first join Equelite academy?
For the last four years I have trained every day at Equelite. We were looking to take the next step for my tennis, and I was fortunate to live less than half an hour away. The academy has trained professionals like Juan Carlos Ferrero, Nicolas Almagro and Tita Torro, so my parents considered it was the best option, and they have not been wrong.
Who is your coach?
My coach is Jose Ezequiel Lido, he was also a player at the academy. We have a very close relationship and we get along very well. I have spent more time with him than with my parents!
Who are your best friends at the academy?
Rafa Izquierdo, I call him "Lefty". He is my friend and training partner and we often travel together. We have shared some very good moments together, although I also get along very well with the other players. There are very good vibes between everyone.
What do you love most about the academy?
The personalised treatment we have each player, and the professionalism of the team. But, above all, the opportunity to train with a former world No.1, Juan Carlos Ferrero, everyday.
Away from tennis, what are your hobbies?
I like to play football, but above all I love video games.
Do you have any idols or role models?
A sportsman who inspires me a lot is [Barcelona midfielder] Andres Iniesta, he is a very humble and hardworking player. From tennis, Fernando Verdasco - many people tell me that my game is similar to his.
Carlos Sanchez (L) beat best friend and fellow Spaniard Rafa Izquierdo (R) to win the European U16 Boys' title in 2016. Both are coached by Jose Ezequiel Lido (C) at JC Ferrero Equelite Academy.
Tell us about how you became European Under-16 champion in Moscow last year.
I did not expect to go; first I had to win the Spanish Championship to qualify. It was a prize. I enjoyed a lot match by match, and finally all good work has its reward.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Juan Carlos Ferrero told me to always give the maximum in every workout.
Where is the best place you have travelled to for tennis?
Last season we went to Mexico to play an ITF Grade 1 event. I liked the organization of the tournament, and I was able to play with the U18 world No.1 [Miomir Kecmanovic].
Where would you most like to travel to?
I’d love to travel to the Caribbean, but more than anything I would love to play Wimbledon.
What are your goals for 2017? And beyond?
My main goal is to play a junior Grand Slam, maybe Roland Garros. In the long run, I would love to be able to reach the Top 100, and then obviously improve on that ranking.
What do you think you will spend your first professional pay cheque?
I would give a gift to my parents, maybe a nice holiday for everything they have done for me.
What would you do with $100,000,000?
Improve the conditions of my family, and donate part to a children's foundation.
Name: Carlos Sanchez
Born: Albacete, Spain
Lives: Elda, Spain
Current ITF Junior ranking: 132