Doubles Vision - The Balancing Act
by Johan Brunstrom and Jean-Julien Rojer|
It’s Juls (Jean-Julien Rojer) and Bruny (Johan Brunstrom) here to share some more stories and talk about some of the issues that tennis professionals deal with on a weekly basis. Things didn’t go so well for us last week in Stockholm (we lost first round) so this means that we had some “time to kill” before leaving for our next event. As you guys well know, there can only be one winning doubles team each week, this means that more often than not you are trying to cope with losing. It is extremely important to stay positive during these weeks and try to live a normal, well-balanced life, which can be difficult on tour. We will now share with you guys some of the things that we do to make sure we remain upbeat yet relaxed during these hard times.
I clearly remember the days when a younger more stubborn me started playing professionally and how I felt like quitting after every loss (remember there can only be one winner each week so losing happens quite a bit). Looking back at it I get some great laughs out of some of my reactions to these losses. One time in Bolivia I lost a tough three-set match, where I had multiple match points but couldn’t get the win. My match finished around 5 p.m. and I decided to skip dinner. As a matter of fact, I didn’t eat another meal until lunchtime the following day (not recommended) because I thought that I would learn this way. As I got older I realised more and more the importance of having a more balanced, happy/healthy life.
These days it’s the complete opposite. After losses I make sure I get to do things that will keep my mind at ease (yes Bruny even if it means chatting up a storm on my phone with my friends). This week after our loss I went into the Old Town (Stockholm) and walked along the harbour and into the little boutiques and of course visited the Royal Palace. I made sure I got out of the hotel a little bit at night also where I went to some very nice lounge places where I could relax and have a drink (non-alcoholic), listen to music and danced (which is probably what puts me in a good mood the quickest).
Sometimes Bruny and I also watch some funny movies or TV series at nights to get some good laughs in and make us forget about the tennis world even if for a few hours. This is a big change from the old days where I would stay in and order room service the rest of the week. I am proud to say that I have learned to change and appreciate the other benefits that life on tour has to offer.
Being on the road, playing tournaments week after week is, of course, what I always dreamt of. Playing matches for a lot of points and money is a thrill that I love, but it can of course be stressful from time to time. When you are done at a tournament, I think it’s important to find a way to relax and reset your mind and get pumped for the next tournament.
In an optimal world I would love to get to see all the cities we are playing in and do the sightseeing spots worth seeing and so forth. However, it’s not always easy to find the right mix of things to do because when you lose that also means that you have another match around the corner to prepare for. Sometimes I find myself with an inner conflict with a part of me wanting to enjoy a day at the beach, an evening in the city checking out the hotspots with your friends and the other part is telling me to practice my butt off and stay in the hotel room resting for the morning practice. More often than not I choose the latter. At times, I think it would be more beneficial for me to go the other route. Every so often I find myself not having seen anything more than the tennis courts and the hotel.
You know how in the cartoons there’s an angel and a devil fighting each other when the character is about to make a decision. Maybe I should go more with what the big curly-haired devil tells me next year, that could be a good new years resolution:) On the other hand, maybe he should try to listen to the pale blond guy some as well;)
It’s a fine line to walk when you have a few days until the next tournament. You need to find a balance where you are fit and ready to go both physically and mentally!!!