VILLENA, May 5, 2016
The change has been made. 16-year-old Nicola Kuhn has officially become a Spanish tennis player. On the website of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the teenager is not listed as German anymore. Kuhn is currently the world number 23 in the junior’s rankings and therewith best ranked Spanish player.
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Shortly before Christmas, Kuhn announced to change his nationality. “I am going to play for Spain in the future. I have been living here since my early childhood. I feel Spanish. I have always dreamed of competing for Spain,” told Kuhn, who was born in Innsbruck and has lived on the Iberian peninsula since he was three years old. He currently practices at the Equelite Sports Academy of former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero in Villena.
Alongside six months younger Rudi Molleker, Kuhn was considered as one of the most promising talents in German tennis. Last year, he led the German Junior’s Davis Cup team into the final and was awarded as most valuable player. The German Tennis Association (DTB) tried in vain to convince Kuhn to continue playing for Germany.
“It’s a pity. We offered him a huge five-digit amount of financial support for 2016. We also supported him in the past. Unfortunately, he decided to play for Spain for private reasons,” Dirk Hordorff, vice-president of the DTB, told last winter.
Shortly after Kuhn’s 16th birthday in March this year, the teenager captured two ITF Junior titles in Benicarlo and Villena. His decision playing for Spain is comprehensible. Conditions in the sunny country are perfect and he also has the opportunity to play one tournament at home almost every week. This could be also important for his development in the long run. In 2015, 34 ITF Future tournaments on senior’s level were held in Spain – only 18 in Germany. A fact, he might have also taken into consideration.