Doubles Vision - A Flavour Of Stockholm
by Stephen Huss|
I am writing to you from the If Stockholm Open here in Sweden. It is my first week of cold weather for a while but for now it feels refreshing and nice so I like it. One of the great things about the ATP World Tour is that we follow the sun pretty much year around.
Combining my professional career and my college days at Auburn University (War Eagle!), where I went home to Australia for December, I have not seen a full winter since 1995! The only thing I miss about being home for the winter is the AFL Football and my team the mighty Hawks. Otherwise I love waking up to the sun, which gives me the motivation to train and get better every day.
I love coming to Stockholm, it is without a doubt one of the prettiest cities in Europe with water meandering in between the historical buildings of the city center. It combines the old and the new with ‘Gamla Stan’ (Old Town) and the modern ‘Galleria’ shopping center. The city is very walker and biker friendly so exploring is easy and accessible.
I am fortunate to speak the language as both of my parents are Swedish but moved to Australia four years before I was born. I have always admired the Europeans for being able to speak multiple languages. Roger Federer is well known for his linguistics but there are many players who speak several languages. In Australia we are so isolated from the rest of the world that learning a language seems pointless and most of us are unmotivated to do so. I thank my parents for teaching me Swedish from a young age, its fun to use it here or even eavesdrop on others who are unaware I can understand.
The tournament has an old school feel to it, the center court which we played on last night is very intimate, surrounded by wooden bleachers which the crowd start stamping their feet on to make noise when a Swede is playing well.
My partner Jeff Coetzee and I won a close match against Jarkko Nieminen and Henri Kontinen. They came out on fire and smoked us in the first set 6-2 but we hung in there and with a little luck were able to turn it around. Kontinen is a very good young player who qualified in the singles here, I am sure we are going to hear a lot more about him in the years to come. But for this year, I think Soderling takes the title!