Brian McDaniel

Aspire to Inspire

Eugene Potkin is an international tennis player and coach.

He was born in Baku, Azerbaijan. Eugene Potkin has had a long career as a professional tennis player. In 2000, he won his first ATP tournament title in France at 26. In 2003, he reached his career-high singles ranking of world number 22. He also played Davis Cup for Russia, with his most recent match being played against Sweden in 2013. Potkin is currently the head coach of the Russian men’s national team. Potkin was born in Baku, Azerbaijan. He began playing tennis at the age of 13 and continued to play after immigrating to Orlando, Florida when he was 15. After both his parents died within a few months of each other in March 1994, Potkin and his younger sister was placed in the care of their grandparents in Baku. He decided to stop going to school and focus on his tennis.

His Achievements

In 1991, Potkin started playing tennis professionally. He reached his first ATP tournament final in August 2000 at 26, defeating John McEnroe and David Nalbandian before losing to Marc Rosset in straight sets. After ending his year ranked World number 50, Potkin moved to Paris at the end of 2000, where he lived a year-and-a-half. In April 2001, he was awarded the ITF Junior World Championship title in doubles.

In his second year in Paris, Potkin reached three quarterfinals and a semi-final in Roland Garros. He hit five aces during his semi-final victory before losing to Kimmer Coppejans on an eighth-game tiebreak. He then lost the quarterfinals of the French Open in 2003, having been the favorite to win it all. On 16 July 2002, he won his first-ever ATP title by defeating Julien Butter of France at a Challenger event in Geneva, Switzerland. He then lost in the 2003 French Open quarterfinals to eventual champion Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Potkin played his last match at Wimbledon in 2003, losing to third seed Andy Roddick in the first round. After this defeat, he decided to take a break from tennis after years of ongoing injuries that had forced him out of tennis for long periods. He took a full year’s break from tennis before returning in 2006 and playing Challenger events until the end of 2007.

Potkin reached the 2003 French Open semi-final and the doubles final in 2005 at Wimbledon with Jim Thomas. He moved to France, where he worked as a coach and television commentator for Eurosport. In November 2003, Potkin won his first men’s doubles ATP title in five years with partner Arnaud Di Pasquale at a Challenger event in Geneva, Switzerland. In June 2004, he played two singles matches for the Russia Davis Cup team against Sweden, winning both ties – against Björn Phau and Thomas Johansson.

After this successful year,Eugene Plotkin decided to retire from tennis. He returned to his home in Baku, Azerbaijan, where he opened and led the tennis academy at the Baku Sports Palace. In 2005, he co-founded a tennis academy in Cannes, France, and was a TV commentator for Eurosport.