«I want to be remembered as a person who did something positive for tennis»
Eric Vanshelboim (born 15 July 2001) is a professional tennis player who represents Ukraine even though he has never lived there. Since August 2016, he resides in Alicante (Spain) together with his head coach – Rune Thomsen. As of September 2019, he is #15 in the unofficial ATP world rankings among those born in or after 2001.
Eric is from a family of diplomats living abroad since 1997. Eric’s parents are both from Ukraine. Eric’s father, Vitaly Vanshelboim, has been working since 2006 as Chief Operating Officer at UNOPS. Eric was born in Sarajevo and when he was several months old, the family moved to Denmark due to the international career of his father.
He lived most of his life in Copenhagen (Denmark) and only at 16 years he moved with his coach to Spain, where he is currently training (Alicante). Eric has an older brother Allen and a younger brother Emil. Over his 18 years, Eric has visited many countries, which helped him learn to fluently speak six languages.
«When they ask me how my career began, most often I tell this story: in the USA I started going to taekwondo and I was very good at proving myself in this sport. I won the local U-6 tournaments. But a year later we returned to Denmark, where full sparring is prohibited until 13 years old. For a while I was bored, but at the age of 7 I decided to find out what tennis is. This happened thanks to my friend, who became involved in sports and invited to join the company during his next training session. We have tried. And so it began and tennis finally conquered me»
2019 – …
- Eric got selected by the captain, Andrey Medvedev, for the Ukrainian Davis Cup team alongside three other experienced players, all 32-33 years old. He had offers from other national teams but expressed willingness to play for Ukraine
- Played 10 PRO Series tournaments (1 win, 3 quarterfinals, 2 semifinals) and has risen from 1472 to 689 position in the ATP World Rankings since the beginning of the year
- Eric played in all four junior Grand Slams (Australian Open, Rolland Garros, Wimbledon, 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
- Won the first category tournament in Kazan, Russia – unofficial CIS Championship on hardcourt.
- Finished playing juniors in March 2019 as #35 in the world ranking
- In January, he won the first professional tournament of the year in Anning, China. Became the world’s first 17-year-old tennis player to win a professional tournament on just second try
- Played in the Winter and Summer European Championships for the Junior National Team of Ukraine
- Moved to Alicante (Spain)
- Won the first 8 ITF junior trophies
- In October 2018, he played at his first professional tournament in Antalya (Turkey)
- He went through 3 rounds of qualification and reached the ¼ final in the main draw, scoring his first points in the ATP rating
- Signed contracts with Bidi Badu and Yonex
- Completed his participation in Tennis Europe tournaments, having achieved his highest ranking of #3 in Europe
- Improved his position in the ITF junior rankings
- Started winning the first trophies in Tennis Europe and played the first ITF Juniors matches
- Raised his position to #2 in the Danish U-12 national ranking and started playing in Tennis Europe tournaments
- Before turning 9, he started playing in the Danish U-12 tournaments and quickly raised his position in the national rankings
- Won several tournaments in the neighbouring countries
- In 2010, he played in two of the biggest U-10 world tournaments: the Smrikva Bowl (Croatia) and Little Mo (the USA). In Croatia, Eric lost in the second round, and in Florida he reached the singles final and won the doubles and mixed doubles
- Before reaching the age of 10, he received his first sponsorship from the Prince brand
- Returned to Denmark
- At the age of 7 he started playing tennis
- Lived in the USA
- Began practicing taekwondo successfully
- Lived in Denmark