Leonid Stanislavskyi, aged 97 years has been playing amateur tennis over the past 60 years. The lack of participants in his age group has not stopped the Ukrainian from following his passion for playing tennis. He competes in various World and European Championships, although he does not move as swiftly as he used to on-court.
Leonid Stanislavskyi was 30 years old when his colleague introduced him to tennis. Since then, he trains three times a week in his hometown of Kharkiv in Eastern Ukraine. He holds the record for being the oldest tennis player and he is training for the 2021 Super-Seniors World Championship to be held in Mallorca, Spain.
Leonid Stanislavskyi reveals his ultimate goal is to face Roger Federer
Leonid Stanislavskyi believes that one can play tennis at any age, and describes it as an 'elegant' sport. "It is an elegant type of sport. It is good physical exercise. It is a beautiful game. And there is one more thing about tennis – you can play no matter what age you are," he told Reuters.
The International Tennis Federation introduced a new age group for people above the age of 90 for the tournaments in 2021 after Stanislavskyi sent a written request to the authorities. Stanislavskyi revealed that he relishes each day of being alive, and wants to live for 100 years.
His ultimate goal is to face Roger Federer in the future. He revealed that the secret to his long life is a combination of genes and sports. Besides tennis, he is also an avid fan of swimming.
"When I was 95 years old, I felt much better than now. It is even hard to walk when you are 97 years old," he said.
"People under 70 say: 'Thank goodness I lived another year.' People between 70 and 90 say: 'Thank goodness I lived another month.' I count every day and say: 'Thank God I lived another day," Stanislavskyi added.