93-year-old Kharkivite Leonid Stanislavsky officially became the oldest tennis player in Ukraine. This title was awarded to the athlete by the National Register of Records of Ukraine (NRRU).
Leonid Stanislavsky, a mechanical engineer by profession, has been playing tennis for almost 60 years. He started as an amateur athlete in the 1950s. Since then, he has been a regular participant of Ukrainian and world veterans’ tournaments. Despite his age, he practices on the tennis court for 1.5 hours three times a week.
“I had almost defeated Stefan Stefanovich at the World Cup in 2016, but I lost. As a result, he got a bronze medal, and I got nothing,” Leonid Stanislavsky recalls.
The Kharkiv athlete adds that it isn’t the priority to be the first in the championship; however, he always aims to defeat his rivals.
His dream almost came true. He visited the Wimbledon tournament. Although it had been agreed beforehand, he did not play with Roger Federer, who is The World No. 5 tennis player in ATP Rankings and the holder of 18 Grand Slam titles. This was due to matters on which agreement could not be reached with his agents.
Until then, a consolation prize for Leonid was making acquaintance with the legends of World tennis: Andre Agassi, Martina Hingis, Goran Ivanisevic and other celebrities.
As the Kharkvite is the oldest player at tennis tournaments, he can’t find a peer partner in Europe. He still plays in the category “80+.”
Leonid Stanislavsky is not only the oldest tennis player in Ukraine, but also the most elderly man, who descended on the Zip Line trolley in Bukovel, which is 1130 m long.
Now, the Kharkiv athlete is preparing for upcoming competitions – particularly the World Veteran Championships, which will be held in the USA.
Text: Iryna Klymenko
Photo: Pavlo Pakhomenko