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Interview with Christian Babuin C.E.O. at Vilas Academy

Majorca’s Vilas Tennis Academy is the brainchild of Argentine tennis great Guillermo Vilas. In this interview, the academy’s chief executive,Christian Babuin (pictured), explains how the facility and its newly launched sister academy in Croatia are helping promising youngsters to hone their talents in preparation for life on the professional circuit.
Christian Babuin for SporsPro
When and how was the Vilas Tennis Academy conceived?
The academy grew out of a love story. From an early age, Guillermo Vilas spent long hours training. When he came home during those years, he would walk the boulevard of the city where he was born, Mar del Plata, in Argentina, always facing the Atlantic Ocean. I think Guillermo’s love for the ocean landscape in his hometown made him fall in love at first sight when we chose to base the project in Majorca, seven years ago. Guillermo had dreamed of sharing his experience and knowledge with the younger generation of tennis players. The concept of having a tennis academy appealed to him from the start. With other tennis professionals involved in the project, Guillermo was able to transform his dream into his legacy here in Majorca in 2008.
What does Guillermo Vilas bring to the academy?
He always knew that to create a place of excellence, it was essential to create an ideal setting for the players. Vilas Academy is the result of integrating the knowledge of a legend and a team of expert professional tennis coaches.
What are the different programmes Vilas Tennis Academy offers potential clients?
The academy offers a range of customised programmes designed to improve all players during their stay, from junior to adult players. The four main categories on offer are High Performance, Tennis Holidays, Corporate Stage and Tennis Groups. Being in an environment where players train daily certainly helps future young professionals to achieve their goals.
What facilities does the Vilas Tennis Academy possess?
The academy was created for a perfect customer experience, 150 meters from the beach of Palmanova and 15 minutes by motorway from Palma de Mallorca Airport. For number lovers, our center has 23,000 square metres with ten clay courts and two synthetic courts with last generation surface from Casali courts. All facilities are approved by the ITF, hosting local and international tournaments. These two surfaces allow players to prepare for every kind of tournament staged by the ITF or on the ATP or WTA international calendars. Special catering options, by Amichi Restaurant, are also available to complement any corporate tennis activity at the club. Today we are privileged that, thanks to the strategic agreement with our partner Iberostar, through Miguel Angel Weiss, sales manager of Iberostar for Baleares, Croatia and Montenegro, we can introduce the second Vilas Tennis Academy in the world, located in the city of Dubrovnik in Croatia.
What is the philosophy of the Vilas Tennis Academy?
Today, tennis has been productised. This has achieved very important results, however I believe that has led to the depersonalisation of the sport. Vilas Academy is a company that contains the personal vision of a man about tennis, the idea of sport as it should be, not only the perfection of technique but how tennis can enhance each player’s personal spirit and values. This is our focus as a team as we are, every day, at the court.
Why should potential clients choose Vilas Tennis Academy over your competitors?
Basically we try to share our own passion for tennis and the players know that. They look to improve every detail as a result of the experience with us. The customisation of each programme is the key factor to the final result, based on the needs and goals of each person. We are located in two strategic locations in Europe, with excellent hotels thanks to our partner Iberostar, and flight connections to the Middle East, Asia and United States.
Are there opportunities for private companies to get involved with the Vilas Tennis Academy?
Several companies are already included in our marketing campaign such as Head, Air Berlin and Samsung, with whom we prepare our 2013 campaign schedule, including smaller activities in every tournament. Our main vision is to grow through tangible actions that directly benefit our customers. We believe this is the only way to build a service of excellence, not just taking up advertising space.
What one piece of advice would you give to somebody aiming to become a star of the ATP or WTA?
To sum up in three words: passion, teamwork and family.
Client: Vilas Academy –
Source: SportsPro –

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