Nadejda Maslova was crowned as the top player in New York City high school tennis last year as she defeated the top-seed Christina Huynh of Bronx Science 6-1, 6-4 in the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) Individual Singles Championship.
Playing in the top singles spot for James Madison, Maslova enjoyed an excellent freshman season. After winning the PSAL title, Maslova went on to defeat Association of Independent Schools Athletic Association (AISAA) champion Gibson Thomas of Horace Mann 6-0, 6-4 to win the New York State Federation Cup title.
“I didn’t really expect much going in. I actually didn’t know about the tournament before my coach [Nino Muhatasov of MatchPoint NYC] signed me up for it,” said Maslova, referring to the PSAL tournament. “He told me it would be a good opportunity for me. There were some pretty tough matches, and I was extremely proud that I won. I was shocked.”
Maslova has been working with Muhatasov since she came to MatchPoint when the club opened up in Brooklyn about four years ago. She first started playing tennis when she was a little kid, while also doing gymnastics and being a top swimmer. But when she suffered a leg injury during gymnastics, her dad steered her towards tennis primarily.
An aggressive player, Maslova says she needs to work on her consistency in order to take her game to the next level.
“I’m very aggressive, but I still have weaknesses,” a self-reflective Maslova said. “Nino has me focusing on my footwork, and he got me a fitness coach. He has helped me get a jump on my serve. He is filling in all the gaps of my game.”
Maslova credits a lot of her progress to the amenities at MatchPoint which allow athletes to thrive in when training there.
“It’s really amazing for serious athletes,” said Maslova. “There is a huge swimming pool and a fantastic gym with all the machines you could need. There are classes for yoga, zumba and more, and a big lounge with healthy, organic food. All the coaches take everything seriously and it is just a nice environment to be around. They focus on what you need and will correct you right away, and not let you repeat your mistakes over and over.”
Through training in that type of environment and getting better consistently, Maslova has continued to see results. She has performed very well in USTA tournaments over the winter. She started 2018 by competing at the Eastern Super Six in Port Washington, Long Island and battled her way into the semifinals. Maslova followed that up by reaching the finals of the Eastern Super Six in Glen Cove, Long Island, compiling positive results against some of the section’s top competition.
Maslova will continue to use MatchPoint and her coaches to improve on her game, and build off of the success she has already achieved. She will be a sophomore next year, and hopes to defend both her PSAL title and her New York State Federation title.
Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for New York Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org