Doubles Vision - Schedule Dilemmas
by Johan Brunstrom and Jean-Julien Rojer|
Hey there everybody, it's Johan Brunstrom (Bruny) and Jean-Julien Rojer (Juls) blogging to you from the Lufthansa Lounge in Osaka, Japan. We are on a layover about to take our next flight back to Frankfurt. We are both going our separate ways for a week before we join forces again at the ATP World Tour 250 tournament in Stockholm.
In this instance we both know our final destination, but this isn’t always the case throughout the course of the year. It happens often that we have to wait until the last minute to find out what tournament we get into, in a strange way our rankings makes this decision for us. We are not left with much of a choice as to what countries/cities we will compete in.
The first instance that pops into my mind is from the fall last year. Juls and I had done our “research” and were pretty confident that we would get into the ATP World Tour tournament in St. Petersburg, Russia. We had arranged visas/flights and were ready to go. The sign in deadline is usually at 18.00 local time on Saturdays for ATP World Tour events.
I had put Juls in charge as the organiser, to sign us in and get us transportation/hotel since I was best man at my best friend Daniel Klemetz´s wedding. Juls has a lot of good traits but organisational skills are not one of his talents. While Juls is getting us out of trouble, scaring people with his hair, this is where I usually step in. I sneaked out of the wedding right before I was going to have to make a speech, only to find out that we didn’t get into St. Petersburg. Instead we had to play a Challenger and the biggest one that week was in Seoul, Korea.
Now the weaker link was in charge of getting us two flight tickets to Seoul and to sign us into the Challenger, where the deadline differs from the ATP World Tour and instead closes at 12.00 p.m. on Sundays. He got the tickets but he couldn’t get through to anybody for the sign in. I wrote him off thinking he was doing something wrong in his new field as an organiser.
However, when I started to look into it I had no luck myself. I looked on the names of the singles guys playing and sent an SMS [text message] to Matthias Bachinger, asking if he could sign us in. He signed us in, which was very nice of him especially considering that he bumped himself out from being one out of the doubles, a very unselfish move! It’s good to have nice, solid friends on tour.
In our sport the higher you are ranked the more selective you can be with your schedule. The ones who are not ranked high enough, like Bruny and I at the beginning of the year, play wherever they get in. It is a clear case of “beggars can’t be choosers”.
Earlier this year, Bruny and I wanted to play our first ATP World Tour tournament of the year in India. When we found out that we didn’t get in, our rankings “told” us that we would be going to Brazil instead. This meant a 12-hour trip to Brazil from Curacao, and an even longer trip for Bruny as he was leaving from Sweden. We arrived late Sunday night for a tournament that would commence the following day.
The next step for Bruny and I was to buy our tickets to Australia since it would be our next destination after we were done playing the smaller Challenger in Brazil. I wanted to wait and see if we got in first, but the “organised” one convinced me that it would be better to purchase the tickets right away (even though we were not yet in the tournament) because the prices would go up. As you can probably imagine, we had to cancel our tickets to Australia because we were three teams outside of the cut. Bruny has a knack for these things.
This led to Bruny and I taking a “vacation” for a few days in Brazil before we headed out to compete in our new schedule that was handed to us by our rankings. This is the way it is when you are working your way up the rankings. I must say though it is quite the adventure not knowing where you are going to be the following week for a tournament, this way you get to go to some countries/cities that you would otherwise never get the chance to visit.
We have gotten better at sitting back and enjoying the ride. They just called us to board our plane so we must go now. After our week off we will be bringing more excitement to you from Stockholm. Much love!!