Vlasta Holečková

* 1918  †︎ 2015

  • “I had been a self-learner, I didn't have any coach, only when I was thirty-three. When I became number one, Dr. Rossler, who was in charge of our club, said: 'Vlasta, you have to train under the national coach. You have to go to Klamovka so that they can promote you.' I went there and the dear coach stepped into the middle and said – now play! However I was used to running so I hit the corner and he said: 'OK, Vlasta, now the second corner. Well done, Vlasta.' I said: 'Damn it, I know how to hit the line, I know everything.' So, that was my first time there. The second time it looked the same, so I lost my temper and told him: 'Mr. Siba, you know what, I am used to playing on the sides, and what you are suggesting is not good for me. Teach me the short balls.' And he replied quite furiously: 'Each of you want me, when you get old, to teach you short balls.' I told him: 'Mr. Siba, I can do it, I thought you were my coach and that you would teach me some other tricks.' Well, I made Mr. Siba so angry. When Milan came to him, he didn't accept everything either. But, we had to respect him, because he could play. So this was my whole training at the age of thirty-four.“

  • “Once, after a while, it pissed me off again, so I took one of the dungarees and stitched them through, the front part to the bottom part, and put them into the bundle 'Holečková.' Then I was called in and asked: 'What kind of work is this?' I answered: 'Well, it's my work and I quit. I won't be back again – I am done with you because you are so rude to me. I know that you cheated on me – I used to win under your name and you cheated on me like this. I know it.' My salary was twelve hundred crowns.”

  • “My husband told me that he was fired and they came to me – right away. And I told them: 'No, not right away, I am confined to this place. Nobody is allowed to come here and I will give it to you only in a report. I don't want to go to jail just because you are in a hurry.' So this is how I stood up for myself and I drove dear comrades out of the room. I locked up and said: 'I will not go.' A report came several days later: 'You will come to the office.' So I went to the office and was very angry. I sat down, all hurt inside, and as I was looking at them I was thinking about all the things they wouldn't want to hear. The report later stated that I had behaved arrogantly. So that was my end in the hospital.”

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    Poděbrady, 16.06.2011

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I never made concessions to anybody

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Vlasta Holečková

  Vlasta Holečková was born on the 24th of June, 1918 in Pardubice. As a small girl she followed her brother’s example and used to hit the picture of Karlštejn castle with a ball and an old, loose tennis racket in the house passageway. Nobody guessed that with her unique style learned on the old tennis racket (she could never play with a different one) she would win the Championship of the Czechoslovakia Tennis Union in Brno in 1948. Nobody even guessed that she would win in Yugoslavia, and in 1952, would beat the Wimbledon finalist, Polish tennis player, Jadwiga Jedrzejovska at the International Championship of Poland. This ensured her a position among the most successful tennis players in Europe, and all of this without a coach because she had always been eccentric. In 1953, Vlasta Holečková embarked on a coaching career in Sparta and later in the club “The Red Star Prague”. Eventhough she used to play with a loose tennis racket she would never let anybody take advantage of her, so she proudly overcame all hardships connected with losing her job because of her husband’s political problems or unfairness that was awaiting her in the world of sports. She dedicated the best years of her life to coaching young tennis players for whom she held a summer tennis school together with her family.