(Photo: Badminton Europe)
Anna Mikhalkova joins Centre of Excellence
Date: 11/18/2019 10:51 AM
Published by : Alan Raftery
We are pleased to welcome a new addition to our Centre of Excellence. Anna Mikhalkova, a young women’s singles and doubles player from Ukraine has joined the growing set-up. 

A vision for the Centre of Excellence (CoE), based in is Holbæk, Denmark, is to provide a high quality and aspirational training base for talented and deserving players from all over Europe. Speaking to Mikhalkova, we asked why she decided on training at the CoE, and whether there were coaches or players that she knew already.

- When I visited the CoE for the first time, I felt that I am improving on court. I like the atmosphere here and that everyone is focused on development. There is very good communication here between the coaches and the players. I feel that I am improving faster. I knew some of the players and I knew Kestutis Navickas, who visited us in Kiev during the national team camp, Mikhalkova said. 

I can do better
Mikhalkova has had some positive results this year. Most recently, a quarterfinal at the Slovak Open. We asked her how her game is feeling at the moment.

- Last year I felt that my game is getting better and I am improving. I understood the key things to change in my game and I was working on them during my training and tried to use the improvements in my tournament performances. I had some good results and I felt that I can do better. I wanted to focus on my net game and on my footwork and at the moment I feel more confident on those aspects. I am now more confident in building my game on net now, she stated.

At the Denmark Challenge this year, Mikhalkova had a good match against the number three in Europe, Line Kjaersfeldt. We spoke about what she learnt from that experience.

-On the whole I managed to keep my focus throughout the tournament. I felt comfortable in my game and I managed to find the style with which I could win matches. Against Line, I played much better than I expected. The most important thing I learnt is that I shouldn’t expect a lot from the match, but just play and enjoy it. 

Mikhalkova plays both singles and doubles. We asked if this will stay the same moving forward, and what are her main targets ahead.

- I mostly work on my singles but since my junior years I really like playing doubles as well. In the future I would like to focus more on singles, she said. 

- After a long break of no international tournaments, I will play the Italian International in December. I hope to show good results there, the Ukrainian player ended. 

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