It’s been a long time since my last post, about one and a half months. A lot has happened the last few weeks, and posting on my website has not been my top priority to say the least. I’m not going to go into too much detail on everything that’s happened, since that’s going to make this post way too long. But I will tell you this, alhough the whole situation might not have been that much fun at the time, it’s going to be a hell of a story to tell in a few years.
Let’s start from where I left off, in Bol. I lost in the final round of qualies and in the quarterfinal in doubles in my last tournament in Bol. I also managed to get really sick during that last week. Due to the bad weather, it got really cold and wet from sleeping in the car and I think that was a reason my cold got so bad. Both me and Thomas felt like we’d had enough of Bol anyway, and we decided to play in Madrid the following week. That meant we had a really long drive ahead of us, about 2520 km… We left Bol that Sunday afternoon and reached Madrid on Tuesday afternoon, driving through 6 countries along the way. It’s safe to say that the body felt kind of slow after that long trip. But I was scheduled to play first round in Madrid the following so I just had to recharge my batteries as fast as possible and prepare for the next tournament. I played a guy from Russia in the first round and won 6-4 6-1. Next up was the number five seed from Spain. This match was really something out of the ordinary, not in terms of tennis, but in terms of what happened outside the court. I’m probably going to go into more detail on this match in another post, so I’m not gonna dwell on it too long. But let’s just say this, it’s tough mentally if you’re playing a spanish player in Spain. Especially if the referee and the chair umpire are from Spain too, you’ll have a LOT of calls against you. Either way, I was playing a pretty good match against a pretty good player. I had my chances, especially with two set points in the second set, but lost the match 3-6 6-7.
After Madrid, I decided to go for two more tournaments before starting my training period in Benidorm. So after a few days of practice in Madrid with a new friend from Poland, our next destination was Antalya. They have a great setup in Turkey with a lot of tournaments every year, and the tournament site is the same every week so you don’t have to travel anywhere between the tournaments. The opportunities are good for practice between the tournaments as well since most players stay at the site if they’re playing again the following week. I started off pretty well in the first tournament with a solid 6-2 6-1 win against a guy ranked about 700, a bit higher than me. The second round was tougher and I lost that match 2-6 1-6 against the guy who ended up winning the whole tournament. The second week started off pretty bad with me falling in the stairs, hitting my big toe at one of the steps. It hurt like hell, but I figured it would be better in a few days. A few days passed, but I couldn’t even walk like normal when I was supposed to play the first round in the second tournament. Today, I’m thinking that it might not have been a good idea to play… But a lot of ice and painkillers convinced me otherwise at the time. So I stepped on court and managed to win the match, luckily my opponent was a bit injured too and retired after one set. I played doubles that week as well, so I decided to play another match the same day. It was not a pretty sight, but we managed to win the doubles 2-6 6-3 [10-7]. My toe got even worse after playing those two matches, so I knew my two matches that Thursday would be tough. I started the singles but retired after the first set, there was no point hurting my toe even more when I couldn’t move anyway. I started the doubles too but retired after just a few games, it was impossible to play. That was a very frustrating end to an otherwise very good trip. I got some good matches, good practice, met a lot of old friends and made a lot of new ones.
After that last tournament in Turkey, both me and Thomas felt like it was time to have period of training, we’d been travelling all over Europe for the last two months and needed to get a break. Although this time everything was a bit different because usually we go back to Sweden during our training periods, but this time we were going to Spain and our new hometown, Benidorm. Because of my toe, the training period got off to a rough start. When we got to Benidorm, the first thing we did was to go to the hospital to check my toe. I was hoping for the best but it turned out my toe was broken. That meant I couldn’t play tennis for at least 3 weeks. In the last 12 years or so, I’ve never been without tennis for that long. So as you can understand, this was really bad news for me, but you just have to accept it. However, when we got out from the hospital, another surprise was waiting for us. Someone had smashed the side window of our car and stolen everything we had. And remember that we just came from Turkey and hadn’t even unpacked. On top of that we hadn’t gotten our apartment yet, so all our stuff was inside the car. So when I’m saying that they stole everything, I literally mean everything we own. After freaking out and panicking a bit, I just had to get down to business. It’s been a lot of work fixing everything the last few weeks. Fixing the broken window, going to the embassy in Madrid, talking to the Insurance Company and getting new stuff. All this hit me pretty hard at first. But at the end of the day, what they stole was just our stuff. It could have been worse, and there are things in life that’s more important.
After everything that’s happened, I feel like I’m back on track again. We’re staying in a good apartment in the city of Albir, just outside Benidorm. I’ve found a good gym i Albir where me and Thomas have been working really hard two times a day for the last couple of weeks. So I’ve gotten a good training period after all. The toe is getting better as well and I’ve been able to play tennis again the last few days, that feels great! Although we got off to a bad start, life in Spain is not that bad after all. I mean if you got 20 degrees every day, a great tennis club and an amazing beach just 5 minutes away, you can’t really complain right?!