BCR Open Romania
Doubles Vision - The Fast & The Furious
by Johan Brunstrom and Jean-Julien Rojer|
Hello everybody, this is the tandem of Brunstrom/Rojer blogging to you from the BCR Open in Bucharest, Romania. My name is Jean-Julien Rojer (my friends call me “Juls”). I’m 28 years old and come from a small island in the Caribbean called Curacao, which forms part of the Netherlands Antilles. I’m joined by my partner Johan Brunstrom, 29 years old and he hails from Fiskebäckskil, Sweden. Johan goes by “Brunny,” “Bruno,” “Viking,” whichever you prefer.
Being that this is our first time blogging, we decided to make this an introductory edition where we will discuss a little bit of ourselves, so that you can get to know us better. We will talk about some of our differences and how we make our partnership work. A few months ago we celebrated our “one-year anniversary,” so we now feel that we can talk about sensitive subjects without bruising one’s ego.
Juls: I first met Johan at the beginning of last year at a Challenger event in Miami. I still thought he was a pretty good player so I decided to ask him if he would like to play some in the future. He was at first hesitant (for good reason) but I finally got the honor in Spain where we teamed up for the first time and took the title in the Pozoblanco Challenger. At the time when I asked Brunny to team up with me I was only looking at his tennis skills not realising that we would both have to adapt ourselves to each other’s culture and accept our differences to make this work.
Brunny is very laid back (off the court), soft spoken and well mannered, which means that I have to do the dirty work. I am the “Negotiator” in our relationship. I am constantly arguing with taxi drivers, with hotel receptionists over room availability, with flight attendants over excess luggage, etc. I always seem to be getting in trouble while Johan stands a little ways back listening to everything with a smirk on his face keeping his “good guy” image intact. According to Brunny I am more suited for this since I know more languages and have a “South American” upbringing, whatever that means.
On the court it’s a different story. Brunny is the one that brings the energy and intensity and seems to have a bit more of a temper. His laid-back demeanor changes as he transforms into this beast with otherworldly grunts that I have to admit crack me up sometimes. It’s a lot of fun playing this way, though, because we have a lot of energy and excitement on the court. He is a great competitor and gets frustrated when things don’t go our way. Once in the Challenger event in Braunschweig the media referred to us as “The Fast and The Furious,” which I thought a very accurate way of describing our personal attributes on court.
Brunny: Even though our backgrounds differ, our lives took similar paths when we both made the decision to go to college in the U.S. The first time we REALLY met was when my university SMU (Southern Methodist University) defeated Juls´s UCLA team in the 2001 NCAA championship. He seems to have a very vague recollection of this encounter for some reason.
I was pumped to play with him but was not expecting to be thrown into a circus. Juls is best described as a crazy-haired-chatterbox, always with a laugh/joke around the corner. There’s a lot more to a doubles partnership than hitting tennis balls. It happens quite often that we stay together in the same hotel room to have as many nights as possible paid for by the tournament. This way if we were to lose early we could still stay a couple of days for free and practice while we wait for the next tournament to begin. What others fail to realise is that sharing a room with my partner means putting up with countless hours of cheesy romantic Spanish love songs and him trying to convince me that I need some of this in my life.
A big part of rooming with somebody is being considerate of each others sleeping habits. We are pretty good at going to bed around the same time but then our different cultures get in the way when its time to rise and shine. I consider breakfast to be my favorite meal of the day while Juls sometimes has his first meal around lunchtime. This means that I find myself tiptoeing back to the room or sometimes taking a book with me to breakfast and waiting outside in the hallway so I won’t wake him up.
As slow as he is waking up in the morning, it seems like he saves energy for when he gets on court. He is a touch player, quick and very agile. I believe our biggest strength on court is that we leave our egos at the door. We communicate well on court and have a common goal that we strive for trying to reach the end result at all cost.
Well guys that’s all for now, we hope that you enjoyed getting to know us a little better. Until next time!! Take care and be good.
- Juls and Brunny