People of Asuwere - Sebastian Lavie

Zane Munro

Asuwere member Sebastian Lavie has been building a tennis empire here in New Zealand since 2019 with his high-performance Lavie Tennis Academy - but this has been in the making for over 20 years. At only 31 years old, Seb has lived a lifetime as a competitive athlete. From the age of 11 he spent ten years in France being mentored by Patrick Mouratoglou as a player and coach, and went on to tour as a pro.

We caught up with Seb ahead of the ASB Classic to hear about his story and what he has in store for the future.

Tell us a bit about Lavie Tennis Academy and how it came about? 

The Lavie Tennis Academy opened in Auckland in October 2019. Growing up at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in France, one of the leading tennis Academies in the world was an incredible experience both as a tennis player and through my teenage years. Becoming one of the best tennis players in the world is a long journey where success is never guaranteed, however, the life lessons learnt through committing to a discipline as a young teenager is something that I believe is so valuable. We have three goals at Lavie: create top 100 players in the world, support players to get tennis scholarships in top US universities and create a community of young players that learn skills that transfer into any walk of life.

Zane Munro

Spending a third of your life training under Patrick (who is widely regarded as one of the best coaches in the world) working alongside the likes of Serena Williams and Grigor Dimitrov must have been quite the experience. Tell us a bit about what this time did to help shape you?

Patrick took me into his home with his wife and two daughters when I was only 11 years old as my parents stayed in New Zealand. I consider Patrick a mentor, cool uncle, father figure and incredible coach. It's very hard to pinpoint one specific thing that he taught me. Watching him grow his Academy from 15 young players to now having multiple top 10 players who compete for Grand Slams was inspirational and one of the main reasons I want to recreate his model in New Zealand for Kiwis to achieve on the world stage.

Zane Munro

How did you find the transition from competing on the world stage as a junior to pro? 

This is the hardest transition as a tennis player. Going from playing against kids who are all under 18 to all of a sudden battling adults who need to win their next match to earn enough money to get to the next event. I don't have any regrets in my career, however I have really taken that lesson into my coaching and want to make sure that players understand that although you always have to be working with a sense of urgency you have to allow time to adjust to a new level of tennis and stay resilient and committed to your goals while you take a few hits.

Zane Munro

Who is the hardest player you have ever faced?

That's a tough question as some young players who used to be absolutely amazing in the juniors never made it to the top. I would say that the player that I struggled the most with was Girigor Dimitrov. He was one of the best juniors in the world and his ability to cover the court in defense and then transition to the net made it feel like there were no solutions to get past him.

The ASB Classic is back after a disruptive couple of years and this year features the juniors tournament you have been travelling the country for. Tell us a bit more about it and what this means to have them competing at the Classic

We are so excited for the ‘Road to the ASB Classic’ where the 32 best 14 and under players around the country will compete for the inaugural Jaguar Cup. The qualifying stages took us around the country for 9 events with qualifiers coming from Dunedin to Whangarei. The main event will run alongside the men's event at the Classic with the finals taking place on center court in front of a full stadium. The Road to the ASB Classic is a very unique type of tournament where the kids will not only play their matches but also be able to experience what it's like to be a professional player and see what it takes behind the scenes to prepare mentally and physically at the highest level.

This event could not have happened without the support of Jaguar and the whole team at the Classic and we stoked to be able to give this opportunity to the kids.

How do you switch off and unwind from tennis in the limited downtime you must have?

To be honest, I love what I do and although I'm learning how to find the right balance between my work and personal life, I very rarely want to switch off from developing the Academy. After a big day on court however, I do sometimes enjoy flopping down on the couch and watching some Shark Tank followed by a cooking session with my partner.

How does Asuwere suit your lifestyle?

There are three main aspects I love about Asuwere. Firstly, and most importantly, I love the clothing! From the fit to the fabric to the simple design which goes with anything I don't spend any time worrying about what I am wearing as I know everything will match up. Secondly, I love being able to jump online every couple of months and see what is coming out next. Lastly, I have found myself spending less money on clothing as I don't have any impulse buys anymore as I know I'll love what I am getting each month.

Zane Munro

Thank you for your time Seb, its amazing to see what you are building and we can't wait to see some of your academy in the top 100 over the next few years.

Check out Lavie Tennis Academy here to get involved. https://lavietennisacademy.com/

And if you are in Auckland make sure you get down to the classic and get amongst the atmosphere (in between showers). 

Shop Seb's looks

Club Polo - Navy
Club Polo - Navy
Club Polo - Navy
Club Polo - Navy
Club Polo - Navy
Club Polo - Navy
Club Polo - Navy
Club Polo - Navy
Club Polo - Navy
Club Polo - Navy
Hybrid Short - Light Blue
Hybrid Short - Light Blue
Hybrid Short - Light Blue
Hybrid Short - Light Blue
Hybrid Short - Light Blue
Hybrid Short - Light Blue
Hybrid Short - Light Blue
Hybrid Short - Light Blue
Baseball Cap - Bone
Baseball Cap - Bone
Baseball Cap - Bone
Baseball Cap - Bone
Baseball Cap - Bone
Baseball Cap - Bone
Recycled Cotton Tee - Emerald
Recycled Cotton Tee - Emerald
Recycled Cotton Tee - Emerald
Recycled Cotton Tee - Emerald
Recycled Cotton Tee - Emerald
Recycled Cotton Tee - Emerald

Learn more:

What our members say