October 19, world tennis was shocked by unexpected and tragic news: on the 53rd year of his life in his native Kaliningrad, the honored trainer of Russia and the honored master of sports Alexander Volkov died. This information first appeared in local media with reference to the relatives of the former athlete, and then the sad news was confirmed by his national team partner Yevgeny Kafelnikov.
“It's impossible to believe! I will always remember your cheerful smile and our matches for the national team in the Davis Cup! Rest in peace, my friend, ”the ex-tennis player wrote on his Twitter page, accompanied by a photograph of Volkov.
In this case, nothing specific is reported on the causes of death. However, his assumptions about this are shared by his colleagues. So, according to Russian coach Andrei Chesnokov, Volkov had problems with alcohol, because of which he even had to stay in the hospital for some time.
“We always talked well, lived in the same room, played together. It was part of my life in tennis. Five years ago we performed at a tournament. In the evening they sat down to dinner, I ordered a bottle of wine to drink by the glass, to which he replied: “I won’t, because I won’t be able to stop later,” the Championship quotes Chesnokova.
In turn, the former first racket of the world, Marat Safin, who, under the leadership of Volkov, won his only victory at the US Open Tennis Championship in 2000, suggested that the problems were of a deeper nature.
“Too kind and responsive is also not very good, because life can lead in the wrong situations. There is such a sad story that the psychologist who cured of depression died of depression himself. Here is some of this, probably, because the way he helped, and the way he could get people out of a different state ... He, unfortunately, could not cope with his internal issues, which he probably had accumulated ", - quotes the words of Safin RIA Novosti.
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Volkov's debut on a professional level took place in 1988. Over his nearly ten-year career, he has won three ATP titles in singles. He won his last victory at the Moscow Kremlin Cup. Loyal tennis fans still remember his victory over American Chuck Adams on the Olympic courts. In the 2000s, he became one of the leaders of this tournament as a general director.
The highest position in the world ranking for him was the 14th place, to which he climbed in 1993. In the same year, he achieved one more achievement - reaching the US Open semi-final, in which he lost to the future tournament winner Pete Sampras.
Despite the lack of high-profile achievements in both singles and doubles, the athlete was distinguished by reliability and stability and invariably contributed to the success of the national teams of the USSR and Russia in the Davis Cup. For two consecutive seasons - in 1994 and 1995 - the national team led by Shamil Tarpishchev reached the finals of prestigious competitions. In addition to Volkov and Kafelnikov, it always included Chesnokov and Andrei Olkhovsky.
Having completed his tennis career, Volkov continued to work for the benefit of sports. After the end of cooperation with Safin, he became the head coach of the men's and women's national teams of Russia in the Davis Cup and Federation Cup, respectively. Then he returned to his native Kaliningrad, where he also worked as a mentor for tennis players.
"Please say this is not true."
Former colleagues and wards who had a chance to work with Volkov remember him warmly. The President of the Russian Tennis Federation Shamil Tarpishchev expressed his condolences to the relatives and friends of Alexander Volkov. According to him, the coach led an active lifestyle, and therefore no one expected this tragedy.
“He was very sincere, humane. For all of us, this is a shock. Most interestingly, the children loved him very much, everyone was drawn to him, he always helped everyone. Volkov was with unique humor and played great - for five years he was in the top twenty. Everyone is dumbfounded by this news, ”Tarpishchev said.
The deserved trainer of Russia Vladimir Kamelzon noted that Volkov’s death was a real loss both for Kaliningrad tennis and for the whole national sport.
“He was distinguished by simplicity, great love for people, honesty not only in relationships, but also in thoughts. He never had a single crooked intent. He treated all people well, and for that they loved him, ”the TASS expert quotes.
Former fifth racket of the world, Anna Chakvetadze, devoted Volkov a post on Twitter.
Please (((say that this is not true !!!! pic.twitter.com/z7fd6SeMHa- Anna Chakvetadze (@ achakv87) October 19, 2019
In turn, Safin noted Volkov’s direct contribution to their tennis career.
“Sasha at some point began to help me in tennis. Thanks to him, I won the US Open, became the first in the world. We were friends, he was like an idol to me - a tennis player whom I watched. I really liked his game, I liked him as a person - cheerful, witty, with a big heart. But, unfortunately, these qualities are not enough to live and walk with them on this earth, ”Safin noted.