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Deb
08-03-2007, 01:44 PM
this kid is just too cute

By Mike Celizic


TODAYShow.com contributor
Updated: 10:19 a.m. ET Aug 3, 2007


http://msnbcmedia3.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Video/070803/tdy_vieira_tennis_070803.300w.jpg


Jan Silva was almost literally born on a tennis court. That’s where his mother, Mari Maattanen-Silva, was when she went into labor before his birth.


Now, nearly six years later, he’s still on the court, playing tennis the way a 5-year-old Tiger Woods once played golf — better than most adults.
Playing with an adult racket that is almost as tall as he is, Jan rakes topspin forehands, hits overhead smashes and artful volleys, flips returns between his legs and rips backhand shots with a one-handed grip that even some pros don’t employ.


“I think there’s a pretty good chance of him going all the way,” his father, Scott Silva, told TODAY co-host Meredith Vieira on a court set up outside the TODAY studios.

To pursue that chance, the Silvas — Jan has an older brother, Kadyn, 11, and a sister, Jasmin, 3 — the family last year sold their house and car in Sacramento and moved permanently to France, where Jan is attending the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy.


Jan’s talent even at this age is so enormous that academy founder Patrick Mouratoglou, a former top player in France, is paying all the family’s expenses — and providing them with a three-bedroom villa and a car — just to be in on Jan’s future. The academy has also taken in Kadyn. It is a deal reportedly worth $140,000 a year.


Scott Silva, a former college basketball player at Southern Oregon University, was working in Sacramento as a social worker. His wife, a former top pro in her native Finland, was an instructor at a local tennis club.
Scott told Vieira it made total sense to sell what they had here and move to France.


“We were living at a tennis club in Sacramento,” he said. “He was in the same environment anyway. The only difference is the kids learn to speak French.”


Inspired by Agassi
Jan (pronounced Yohn) was just 7 months old when the Silvas took him to see a Sacramento Capitals World Team Tennis match at which Mari was an alternate player.
He was captivated by Andre Agassi, who was at the time still one of the top players in the world, and who signed Jan’s shirt. As soon as he could stand, Jan was hitting balls against the sliding glass doors in the family’s home every day for hours at a time.


At the age of 4, he played in his first tournament. He didn’t win any matches, but he did take games against kids twice his age.
The Silvas were already investing in tennis lessons for Kadyn, who is also exceptionally talented. When daughter Jasmin arrived, the couple found it increasingly difficult to pay for the lessons and travel both boys needed.
They visited Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida, where Agassi and many other top pros developed their games, and consulted with another top teacher, Vic Braden, who helps Jan out as a mental coach on a consulting basis.

LINK (http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/20107032/?GT1=10252)

AZ_Steeler
08-03-2007, 01:51 PM
I could kick his ***! :lol:

My son is looking like he's going to be a two sport star. At 10 months he's already trying to dribble a basketball and throw a football! :D :bigthumb:

Deb
08-03-2007, 02:33 PM
and I am sure he's probably already passed you up LOL