Piešťany has a good reputation in the tennis world. It is represented at the highest ranks by such individuals as Marián Vajda (the coach of Novak Djokovič), Dominika Cibulková and Lukáš Lacko – the current No. 1 Slovak tennis player.
Since replacing Dominik Hrbatý as the No. 1 player Lacko has no significant rival. As he says, he misses a more competitive environment at home. His wish is to have more Slovak players in the top 100. Their rivalry could reinforce the performance of all of them. This might soon come true in Piešťany’s tennis talent Filip Horanský, who is among the world‘s best junior players.
Lukáš Lacko, at only 23, has recently scored tremendous success. A year ago his ATP ranking was at about 150, today he is under 100. As a winner of three challenger tournaments in the last season he defeated such names as Ivan Ljubičič and Lleyton Hewitt. However his duels with top ranked players were less successful – he lost to Andy Murray at the US Open and Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open. Despite these setbacks, he gained valuable experience. It was for the first time in his career that he’d played in front of sold out arenas at the most prestigious world tournaments.
Unfortunately, his success went hand in hand with injuries. While playing Belorussia in the Davis Cup he suffered a sore thigh muscle. Despite this, the Slovaks won and maintained their position in the Euro/African Zone group one. During a match in Metz with Croat Čilić he pulled a muscle below his right knee.
He’ll spend his off season training in Slovakia. He’ll start with condition training in the High Tatras, then at the National Tennis Centre. In March, Slovakia is due to play another round of the Davis Cup. The Portuguese, “the clay specialists”, will have home advantage and Slovakia will need every ounce of support from its top player Lukáš Lacko from Piešťany.