The summer is almost over, at least the Swedish summer. Usually I would soon start the preperation for the indoor season, but my clay season will go on for another two months or so. Right now I’m preparing for my second trip to Belgium this year with my coach Thomas. There’s still two more weeks until my next tournament starts, and I need these two weeks of preparation.
It feels like this summer has been one big tennis tour. I started off the clay season in May with three Futures in Sweden, followed by two weeks in France playing the French League. I was starting to feels the results from my long training period in the beginning of the year. When I got back from France, me and my coach went to Spain for a few days of practice before my next tournament in Belgium. Instead of flying there (like normal people) we drove from Norrtälje to Brussels Airport. Parked the car at the airport and slept in the car, just to take a flight from Brussels to Alicanté the next morning. Good thing we’re not like normal people! Still, we got a few great days in Alicanté and good preparation for my next tournaments in Belgium.
I played three weeks in Belgium and stayed there for three weeks. I played okay in the first one in Havré, I qualified but lost the first round in main draw in three sets. But the second tournament in Nieuwpoort would be a big improvement. The tournament started really bad, in the final round of qualies my shoulder popped in the end of the first set. I managed to still win the set 7-6 before it started to rain. After the delay, my shoulder was really bad. I lost the second set 6-1 not being able to serve. After some treatment from the fysio, I was able to at least hit second serves and I won the third set 6-3. I would only be able to hit second serves for many weeks after that. But instead, the rest of my game improved a lot. I won the first round in main draw and lost to the number one seed 7-5 7-6 in the second, even though I had two set points in the second set. The following week in De Haan I qualified for main draw again, losing only 6 games in two matches. I beat a guy ranked 700 in the first round of main draw and followed that by beating a guy ranked 480 to reach my first ITF quarterfinal. Even though I feel like I can do even better, this trip was a big step forward.
Maybe I should have rested a bit longer after my trip to Belgium, it’s hard to tell. Sometimes you don’t really feel those small differences that makes you a little bit slower, just a little bit less explosive on the court. That can happen if you don’t rest enough. If you keep training hard at that point, you will break down your body. I’m an expert at that last part, so maybe that’s what happened after Belgium. Small differences like that can make a huge difference even at this level. I played two national tournments that resulted in one semifinal and one final. After that I went to Finland for two weeks to play two Futures. The results were not at all what I had hoped for, with two tough losses against the same player in both tournaments.
So here I am, preparing for my next tournament. I’m feeling strong, and I’m really starting to find my game again after a few tough weeks. It feels great that a lot of changes are about to happen in my life. Necessary changes that hopefully will me to next level, and it will definetly be a great experience for me. I will no longer play for Bålsta Tennisklubb, the club I’ve been playing for the last six years. Big changes are waiting around the corner…