A catch-up with tennis scholar Francesco Abbadessa

Francesco Abbadessa

We recently caught up with Francesco, an undergraduate Italian student from the Kent and Medway Medical School (KMMS), studying Medicine and Surgery. He started playing tennis at the age of 13 and is now a regular player in the competitive tennis circuit. 

Which events have you played in and what is your ranking?

“I regularly play in the ITF Masters Tour events.” For context, these are a range of tournaments which take place on the international circuit, for advanced players, looking to compete in their age category, worldwide. There are events for single players, doubles and mixed teams, which cater for players of 30 years plus! There are over 500 tournaments which take place worldwide and over 30,000 players!  With ex-professional players also competing, the ITF Masters is rife with challenges and competition.

“There are also many events in the UK, some in Scotland and Canterbury which I attend. Last summer I played at events in Italy and Portugal, including the World championships. In week 5 of 2023 I was ranked 6th in Great Britain in the 30+ category (LTA senior rankings). The points that contributed to that ranking were obtained by reaching the quarterfinals of the ITF Masters Tour Tournament in Halton (Buckinghamshire) in May 2022.” 

How many times a week do you train/play?

“I train five or six days a week depending on my study commitments. I usually spend two days in the gym and three or four days playing tennis at the Kent Indoor Tennis and Events Arena at the University of Kent and the Canterbury tennis club. Wednesdays are generally British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) match days, this is my favourite day of the week, as we get to compete against other unis!” 

Can you tell us more about your scholarship?

“We have such a fantastic team this year with great guys who are stronger (and a lot younger) than me! Hopefully, next year we will have an even more competitive team. The aim is for the team to reach the BUCS Premier League! I was lucky enough to be selected for the Kent Scholarship Scheme 2022-2023. I am very grateful for the support I have received so far, helping me to play and train with strength and conditioning, coaching sessions, physio, and nutritional advice.

Last but not least, a big shout out to Nick Skelton and also to the UKC Tennis Society President, Sophie Kitson, and her commitment to making tennis grow so much at Kent this year!”

A big thank you to Francesco for taking time out of his busy schedule to speak with us. We wish him all the luck for his future tennis ambitions and can’t wait to see how he develops as a competitive tennis player.

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