Off season and silly season.

Fitness season as started. And it is a horrible as always. This is not something I look forward to or enjoy doing. But is is simply impossible without it. Breaking your body down in order to slow down at the end to get back and become stronger. Or that is the plan at least.

Everyday is training training training. Groundhog day. For real. I have not played any tennis just yet as I need my elbow to heal. I have not mentioned this, but in March I started feeling a new pain in my elbow and it turned out to be a tear in the tendon. This is something I have tried to deal with all season and it has not been nice. At all. Horrible pain. And that is what I am trying to heal right now. With different therapies that I tried during the year that I felt work. And something new I tried in Barcelona. Hopefully the combination with the rest of the arm will help me have a fairly pain free season. But knowing me, that will never happen...

So, I never did do the silly season for you so I will do that now. A lot of teams are splitting. You probably know most them by now. But anyway...

Bopanna/Qureshi split after a fairly poor season after their title in Dubai. I thought they were going to be one of the stronger teams of the season.

Fyrstenberg/Matkowski split after having played for 83 years together.

Lindstedt/Kubot split as you know by now. We had a great start and a great finish to the season, but in between it was not too great. We both had injuries during the year that really messed things up for us. But my reasoning was that I really want to play with a doubles guy. The practices this year has not been great since Lukasz plays singles. I always told him to do his thing, he is a singles player first and foremost and that is what I wanted him to focus on. But that meant me looking for practice for the most part of the year and that is not very easy as a doubles guy. And I ended up with hitting partners now and then and they are never good enough really. So we split.

Nestor/Zimonjic. No comment here.

Huey/Inglot split. They had an up and down season, but I thought they were playing pretty ok. On the other hand I do know how difficult it is to play for more than two years.

Llodra/Mahut split. The surprising reason is that Llodra is playing with someone else. But that partnership has to wait. I will get to that at the end.

So the new teams are:

Bopanna/Nestor

Lindstedt/Matkowski

Fyrstenberg/Gonzales

And here are the teams that were planned but wont happen after all:

Llodra/Zimonjic

Chardy/Qureshi

But since Llodra needs surgery and will be out for 8 months, the new combination is QureshiZimonjic.

That's it for now.

Off season. On my way to Barcelona.

Off season or pre season. In tennis they are kind of the same thing anyway. Longest season in sports is over and it starts in a months time. Kind of tough to prepare as good as you want and need with that short time period. But, when you have a sport that is rooted in different countries with individual tournaments...it is kind of tough having it any other way. 

I had about 6 days of vacation and went to Dubai. As usual. I really don't want to travel far after the last ball has been played for the year and if there is no sun and beach it is not a vacation. So Dubai is the closest with guaranteed sun and warm weather. And I love it. Had a few amazing days of doing nothing, except the hour in the gym everyday. A lot of rose and a lot of beer on the beach. It is nice to feel like a normal person now and then. Hmmm...that can be interpreted in a lot of ways...

Anyway, I just started my pre season two days ago and today I am on my way to Barcelona. I need to fix a few things with my body and hopefully the doctors in Barcelona can help. Fingers crossed. Because I really don't like travelling for no reason believe it or not. 

I wont play much tennis for the next couple of weeks, since that is what wears a tennis player down. So I will only do fitness and strengthening. Being fit really gives me confidence and when I feel I am not, I tend not to play so well. So, it is a must. The pre season training does not get easier with every year and since this is the first time I am 37 years old, it will probably be the toughest one so far... Not looking forward to it to be honest, but without it, I may as well quit. And I am too young for that...HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

No more London baby.

The experience of participating in the year-end masters is over for this year. Ad it didn’t disappoint, it never does. The experience is always amazing no matter how you do. This year I finally managed to pass the group stage for the first time and me and Lukasz finally produced the tennis we wished we would have for the whole season. Australia was back for us and we put ourselves in a good position to win the whole tournament. This year’s tournament brought the most happiness for me but also the biggest disappointment.

The last match hurts and will hurt for the whole off season. Hope it ends there…

Since Lukasz came back in Beijing after his injury we have been practicing hard and with great quality. Played a lot of points in practice and done it well. When you practice hard and well, results normally come. Normally… Even though we didn’t have the results we wanted in the tournaments leading up to the World Tour Finals, we were still playing good in practice. So coming to London we took comfort in that and we were extremely hungry.

The first match against Bob and Mike is one of the most amazing matches I have played. Full house at the O2 and we went toe to toe against the world number 1s. Beating Bob and Mike is always an amazing feeling but doing it at a venue like that, in front a huge crowd like that in a tournament like that…well, it doesn’t get much bigger for a doubles player.

Against Alex and Bruno in the second round robin match it was a bit of a different feeling. I think both teams knew that a win would secure a place in the semis and maybe we all did a few extra mistakes because of that. It is always tough to play them as they make you play that extra shot all the time. They cover the net very well and are a tough team to return against since they do not give you much space to aim for.

Against Horia and Juls we played very well. So did they. They started a little better than us I think but we managed to hold our serves and eventually crawled back and managed to win the match. Reporters wanted to make this out to be a match that didn’t mean anything since we were already qualified for the semis and Horia and Juls were out. But 200 points is almost as much as winning a tour event. So trust me, every match counts.

So the semis... This one hurts. I felt we were better for the bigger part of the match but in the end we let it slip away. But that is how it is in doubles. One point can turn things around completely. It goes so fast on our sport. Ivan started returning like a madman and we got broken to lose the set. And after the super breaker it was all over. The fat lady had sung.

Overall a great end to a stormy season, a good start and a good ending. Sadly we couldn’t end it the way we started it, but we’ll take it.

London baby.

So Paris was just the nerve-racking event as it always is for a selected few. This time it included me. Us. As always there are a few teams fate that are decided by the event in Paris Bercy. What I think is the worst Masters series event by the way. Great centre court and show there, but that is about it.  Anyway, we knew what we had to do and that was either to win one more round than Pospisil/Sock. Well, or win it ourselves. OR there was a third option actually and that was hoping that Pospisil/Sock did really well and finished top 7, then we would have gotten the wild card spot as well.  

We were scheduled to play after Pospisil/Sock that day and I can promise you it was difficult trying to keep calm. I didn’t want to follow the live score of the match as it would just leave me drained for our match. So I decided to relax in my room and ignore the match best I could. I did not do a good job. But to my defence, it was difficult since my phone kept getting messages from people wanting to tell me the score. So I turned it upside down. When the match was over, I had my girlfriend check the score. Maybe it is not the right thing to do to hope for someone to lose, but in this case, I just don’t care. I hoped. I really hoped. Jack and Vasek would have done the same thing.

So, London baby!!! I love Joey from Friends. London baby!!! This event is magical. I don’t care that we have had a shaky season after Australia. There are reasons for that with injuries and other things that I just don’t want to get into. But I am so happy to be here. It’s an amazing feeling.

ATP has done an amazing job with this tournament. They have created something bigger than the actual event. And London has had a big part of that. It is not just the World Tour Finals anymore. It is the World Tour Finals in London. The perfect city for the tournament, at the perfect arena, with the perfect fans. The British are a very knowledgeable sports nation and they really show their appreciation which makes it so much more special for us. Not that all fans at the O2 are British, but majority are. I hope ATP keeps it here for many years to come.

It is kind of impossible to get an easy draw here since, well, only the absolute best in the world take part. And our group is no exception. I have always said in my interviews during this event that every match is a final at any tournament. So it’s not going to be easy, but we are going to try. We are going to fucking try hard.

Two tournaments in a week

As you probably know by now, after the bad loss in Basel I decided to fly back to Sweden for our Davis Cup tie against Latvia. And what should have been a quick match yesterday turned out to become yet another five set match for Johan Brunström and me. Having controlled the match from the first point of the match until the third set started. There we messed things up a bit and let them back into the match. And as it often happens when you do that, you opponents start to play better and better.

They started serving better and returning better. So they won the third said by simply beating us. But I think the fourth set was ours to win with a lot of chances to break. Twice 0-40 and once 15-40. We should at least break once there and hopefully have ended the match in four sets. But…exciting matches are always more fun to watch right…? I am very happy that we managed to come out stronger in the fifth and break them in their first service game of the set and then hold our serves to the end.

To win in Davis Cup is always something special and the feeling is more or less impossible to recreate on the tour. And that me and Johan now have a 6-0 record sits very well with me. As I said in the press conference after the match I know all matches have not been in the world group, but a win is a win to me and having been able to help Sweden out is all I care about.

This tie was a little different for me in a way that I got the special treatment because of me and Lukasz trying to reach the Masters in London. We still have a chance to reach it, slim as it may be, but our captain Fidde Rosengren understood my priorities for this tie. I would come if I lost and I would go to Paris as soon as possible. Not ideal for a team match, but this time it had to be this way.

So this is where I am now, in Paris. Having followed my boys on livescore all day. And I can tell you, it is more nerve racking looking at a livescore then watching the match live. Playing is always when I feel the least nervous.

But I have been getting the reports from the sideline all day chatting with the guys that were there supporting. And I am very happy that we manage to win 3-2. To win 3-2 or 5-0 doesn't matter in my book. How you win doesn't matter as long as you win. The scoreline of the win doesn't change the outcome. We live to fight another day.

 

Recap.

So, it's been a while since my injury. Just a few hours after I got off the plane I started my rehab. No time to waist, I thought. The earlier you can start, the more time you save at the end of the spectrum. So that is what I did and after about a week, I felt I was back to normal. So the tear was not as big as we feared. 

So that was good news. Even though knowing it was only a small injury that stopped me in NYC, it hurts personally just because it was a small injury... Not sure if that makes sense to you.

So I decided to play Shenzhen as I felt I wanted more matches. Lukasz was not ready for that week so the scramble to find a partner began. Again. Colin Flemming was looking for a partner that week and I felt it was a good fit. And we played good in practice over there, but we both played pretty poorly in the match to be honest. I was missing hours of tennis due to my injury and looking back at it, I probably should not have played it. But I have to say, I have not seen Horia and Juls play that well. Hats off to them.

Time for Beijing. And Lukasz is back. He has had a horrible injury, but rehabbed well and professionally to be back now. And he is not as rusty as I thought he would be. I am impressed actually. And very happy. So tomorrow we are thrown into the fire to start our campaign to make the masters in London. We could have picked an easier tournament, but that is how it is right now. This week is always nails. Lopez/Mirniy tomorrow and it will be a battle.

Woke up to the news today that Instagram is now blocked over here so it wont be easy to update that. Sorry for that.

Ouch.

Well, that was not the way I hope, planned, wanted or nightmared about finishing the Open. As most of you know by now I had to retire due to injury in the second round. An injury is never fun, but when it comes at a Grand Slam, well.....WTF!?!?

We think I strained my adductor longus and it will take a couple of weeks to come back. Hopefully not worse. The whole thing was very strange to be honest. We are playing great and we both feel that we are getting the match where we wanted. Even though it was a tie break in the first set it felt like we were in control of the match from the beginning. Then all of a sudden after to aggressive lunges I feel a pinch when I serve. Then another one. We go to change sides at 1-2 in the second and as I have to stretch for a return I feel the pain in my groin get stronger. And when I have to run for a drop volley in that game and I can't take full strides, I knew right there and then that the match was over. We tried for the rest of the set to see if we could find a way. Called for the physio and got a medical timeout but I knew he could not help me. I have been injured enough to know.

It is just hurts so much to have to retire a match. And at a Grand Slam it just eats me alive. I had to do it once in Australia when I tore my calf and now this one . Hopefully it doesn't have to happen once at all the Slams. But what I really hate when this happens is that in doubles you let down your partner. Of course Jurgen Melzer understood what was going on and he actually pushed me to retire. He kept telling me there is no reason to make it worse. And he was right. We had no out, no way to win the match like this. 

But that was not the end of the let downs. I had to tell my mixed partner Martina Hingis that I could not play our match. Which also sucked because I really looked forward to playing mixed for the first time ever. I think we could have done well.

Speaking of doing well, that is what I think me and Jurgen could have done. (Could have, should have, maybe, whatever) We were playing well and I was finally playing really good again. Feeling the court, moving well and hitting clean. So I know we would have been dangerous. It is just a strange feeling you have to deal with. A feeling of incompletion. When we lost second round of Wimbledon that was bad, but we lost. So it is a definite thing. We were too bad. But with this, you just feel like you should still be there. Like you should still be playing. I do not like this feeling one bit. My girlfriend said it best actually when she said: So this must be what blue balls feel like...

Where the oranges grow...

After a pretty good week in Cincy I have had a few days off here in Florida and some great practices in the horrible, horrible humidity. It's a joke how thick the air feels here during the summer. But first a few words about last weeks tournament.

Like I said in the last post, my tennis felt like it was on it's way to where I want it to be. And it continued in Cincy. We played a tight first match against a good team in Murray/Peers and the we played a very solid match against Dodig/Melo. Nice to get a win against a team that obviously was in great shape having played the final in Toronto the week before. 

The quarters was a very tight affair where I think we should have won the first set in the tiebreak we played, but didn't. But we did win the second only to play a horrible superbreaker. Nothing went our way really. Congrats to Sam and Steve, but would have rather said bad luck to them to be honest.

So straight from Cincy to Florida and a day at the beach and relaxation. After that I had 3 great days of practice with Peya/Soares and Rojer/Tecau. 2 hours in these conditions feels like 6 hours anywhere else. Kinda... Hopefully it will help and make New York feel like an ice bucket. Speaking of ice buckets, go to my Instagram and see my ice bucket challenge for ALS. (Iwas wondering when my nomination would come.)

Tomorrow I am off to the Big Apple and I can not wait to get there. To come to one of my favorite cities in the world and my great friends living there! Definitely one of the best times of the year.

Leaving Toronto. Robbed.

Well, this is something new for me. I am leaving Toronto not having lost a single match, but still didn't win the tournament. I didn't know if I should write about it or not, but the anger still lingers inside of me so I simply had to vent. We actually won the match against Ferrer/Garcia Lopez. We did. But two of the umpires did not see it that way. All four players saw it this way, but two umpires had a different meaning. 

Tennis is a fast sport and at times I can understand that it is hard to see if a ball is a few mm out or even a cm. But when a slow ball is played and it is over 2 cm's out, then no, then I have no understanding for it. I really don't. Any person with normal vision can see this. And when a huge, huge mistake like this happens on match point us and our opponents are on their way to say thank you for the match we just won... Well, then the umpires are not my favorite persons in the world. 

In my honest opinion, this was probably the worst mistake I have ever experienced as a player. And that it happened on match point is just too unbelievable. It is such a weird feeling. A feeling of something so unfair. We did all the right things, played very good after the first set and won the match. But didn't. 

Sure, we put ourselves in the position of a very tight match, but you do not expect it being snatched away from you like this. It was impossible for me to sleep. The aggression would simply not let go. And the day after when I forced myself to go and practice it was still there and it is just so tough to get out of your head.

I am not the first person to get robbed by a bad call. In any sport. I am not that ignorant or stupid to think so. But you can only talk about what you have experienced and this was the worst ever for me.

The only good thing I can take with me from the match is that I finally played good. Very, very good. And I will work hard to keep that going into the next week. So now I am on my way to Cincinnati to prepare there. As a winner, but a loser.

Washington bound.

Ok, that’s enough being lazy, Robbie. Time to get back to work and feeling like a complete beginner again. It never fails really, or rarely at least, after not hitting for a week or so. It is so demoralising every time. Feeling like everything on the court is a stranger to you. The ball, the surface, your own feet, you legs, your arm, your racquet. Nothing works in harmony and you overthink as well. Your timing is completely off. The thought, how am I ever going to get back into shape comes up every single time. It is hard to explain, but everything seems to go so much faster than normal and someone is holding you back as you try to keep up.

 

Being 37 years old and still doing this for a living should have it’s advantages. Should. Sadly my mind is only 17 years old so I struggle to believe myself at times. But I keep telling myself that hard work pays off and I will be hitting the ball great in no time. And normally that is the case.

 

Right now I am back in Germany again waiting for my flight to Washington. Well, it’s not MY flight… Not doing the PJs just yet. A city I really like, one of the few in the States. And a place I have played well in the past, so I am hoping for again of course. The only problem is that since me and Colin Fleming didn’t get in on the pre entry list, he is not sure if he wants to go there. So that means I have to find someone on site and sign in with. It has been many years since I flew to a tournament not knowing whom I would play with. But if I can’t find someone good to play with I might just go down to Florida to practice for a week. But let’s hope that is not the case this time.

 

This is one of the longer trips of the year, about 6 weeks over there. So packed the bags full and told New Balance to send the shoes to the hotel. So happy to be back in my hard court shoes that I love. Gonna need to use a few pairs for the first week. It is so hot and humid in D.C. that the shoes does not have time to dry over night so you have to alternate shoes. This and Cincinnati are probably the two toughest weeks to play during the season. Heat and humidity consider. It could be really horrible. The only place that has been worse playing for me was in India. Now that was a joke!!! Curry nam nam.

Break.

Well, the little break I planned to have after Båstad has started and as always it is going too fast. Way too fast. But then again, I seem to travel just as much when I am on a break as when I am not. I am in Munich now again too see the specialist here that I have been seeing for a few months now. As I am about to go to the States for almost 2 months we wanted to make a check up.

The fact that I haven’t touched a racquet since Swedish Open feels great but as always the closer I get to flying away to a tournament, the more stressed I feel. It never fails, it’s always the same. I wonder why many of us are like this. We need breaks, we do, otherwise we simply fry our brains and get injured. But when that break is actually happening, stress sets in because we are not playing tennis. I say we because I know a couple of other guys that are the same way. Didn’t want to write only me because that would make me sound like a complete nutcase. Which I am, but let’s not open that box now…

I am really looking forward to the hardcourt season. I love having the grip under my feet, feeling I can push off as I want. It’s the most fair surface in my opinion. This time I have to leave with a bit more of a relaxed state of mind. Lukasz is still injured and I had to go shopping for partners. The doubles supermarket, you know. I decided to play with Colin Fleming in Washington, but we ended up 1 out on the entry list. We should get in on site hopefully. And then for Toronto I entered with another Polish player, Matkowski. Huge serving man. Hopefully we can hold serve for a few matches and play some good tennis. After Toronto I hope to be back with Lukasz. Hope. I’m gonna leave the European summer this year with amazing memories of family and friends and amazing weather.

A shout out to my good friend and Davis Cup partner Johan Brunström who finally married his sweetheart Malin this weekend. I wish you nothing but happiness and health for the rest of your lives!

Relaxing time.

Well, that didn't really go as I hoped for. I didn't have very high hopes for the tournament here after Lukasz called me and said he was not coming. I really enjoyed playing with Andre Begemann but neither of us could really produce any tennis that wins tournaments like these. We both had problems controlling the balls and Chardy/Marach beat us fair and square. They were better than us. 

I played with the idea of playing Hamburg but I really need a break. So a few days off before I fly to Washington is hopefully just what the doctor ordered for me. I will go down to Munich once more to see my doctor there before I fly over to the big land in the west. My arm started bothering me again this week sadly. But before that I am not going to practice too much. Only fitness.

I struggle to see any positives when I lose, but the early loss meant spending some more time with my family and that helps a lot. Even though we probably have the family with the most crazy people, it is still our family. I am sure many of you know what that is like.

I can't wait to start the hard court season again. I prefer it so much more than clay. I am going to play Washington with Colin Fleming and after that I hope Lukasz will be back. Fingers crossed everyone!

 

 

Swedish Open.

I got a phone call yesterday that I really didn't want to get. Lukasz called me and said he is injured and can not make it here to Båstad. That sucks. Really sucks. Of course more for Lukasz than me since he is injured, but I was really looking forward to showing him the tournament and try to win it with him. 

So yesterday was a bit stressful to say the least. It is not easy to find a replacement the day before sign in closes. It is really difficult. Everyone I talked to really wanted to play but couldn't. It was a bit comical really. Everyone really wanted to play but couldn't for different reasons. Everything from already playing somewhere else to his brother getting married to staying at home because the wife is pregnant. All pretty valid reasons I have to say...

So, then I found out that someone else was in the same situation like me. His partner for the week is injured and he needed to play with someone. So Andre Begemann is coming to Båstad this week to play with me. First he asked if I was interested in coming to Stuttgart but I quickly told him that was not an option. Come on, it is Båstad after all. Obviously Stuttgart is an important tournament for a German, but he was more than fine in coming here. So, this week I am playing with a fellow Pepperdine University Alumni.

My first thought was to play with a Swede of course. I talked to our Davis Cup captain Fidde Rosengren to see who of the boys in our Davis Cup team was available to play. But then of course, both Marcus Eriksson and Isak Arvidsson are playing with each other. So it didn't feel right to split them and leave one of them without a partner. 

So now Båstad is not really going to be the way I planned but I will try my best to really do well here anyway. Andre is in good form having won Halle a couple of weeks ago, so hopefully we  can gel really quick and with a decent draw get the ball rolling quickly. Fingers crossed. Please!

Save me, Båstad!

Sometimes tennis is the best thing in the world, and sometimes it is the absolute worst thing in the world. Covered in shit, smothered with rotten eggs and wrapped in layers of poison ivy. Monday was such a day. And it hurts you. Physically hurts you even though you are not physically hurt. It was one of those days you can’t sleep after. You lie in bed and contemplate things you could have done, should have done, and why you do things at all. There is no escape for me when days turn out like this. Time is my only friend and yet at the same time, my enemy. Because I cannot make my friend go faster and to feel good, I need him to move quickly.

I never believed in comparing bad times with others or situations. You feel what you feel at the time you feel it. And this loss hurt me.

Luckily for me though, one of the absolute highpoints is coming up. My hometown tournament, Swedish Open. There is no tournament that I enjoy more than this one. All the time I have spent here and all the things I have done. I have mentioned it before but for any new readers, I used to be a ball boy here, I was a mascot here. (In a costume yes!!!! Not just as myself) So I have literally grown up with this tournament. And to have won it 3 times in a row, well that is just a joke really. A true joke I guess.

After Wimbledon I flew to Munich to see a doctor again to keep my body in check. I’m not a spring chicken anymore so I need regular check ups to try and keep everything in place. From top to toe.

Anyway, Båstad, it doesn’t just mean the tournament for me. It also means family. Most of my family lives around here and since I don’t get to see them so often, it really makes the whole week extra special. My family has been the backbone of my tennis career and they continue to be. Knowing that someone is there for you no matter what is what gives me the energy to continue. Nothing is more important to me. Family that is…

Middle Sunday.

So, the greatest day in tennis is almost over. Middle Sunday at Wimbledon. There is something very charming about this day. Something very civilized. Not sure how to explain it. After almost a full week of competing and battling, this Sunday comes as a white flag between us players and we tend to smile more than during the other days. I just love the atmosphere on the grounds during this day. From being so packed and so loud to so quiet and calm.

I love reaching the second week of a Grand Slam, but I can not say with a straight face that I have deserved it this time. We have only won one match and due to scheduling and weather we have now reached the second week. Not ideal because now the schedule will be very tight. But at least there are a lot of teams in the same situation.

We were hoping to play the day after Lukasz's 2nd round win, but since Lleyton couldn't finish his match they got pushed back to the next day. The the horrible weather yesterday got our match cancelled pretty early. Nothing to do but prepare as good as you can.

Coach Jonas Björkman arrived today and I forced him to come straight to the courts to practice with me. No rest for the wicked...

Tomorrow we have a very tough match like I said. We played Guccione/Hewitt in the first round in Paris and it was a battle. Now I hope we can come out on top again. Battle or no battle...

And we're off.

Well, if you can choose how to start a Grand Slam, I think our start is more or less what you would wish for. After a few tight games in the beginning we found our stride and kept the foot on the accelerator. For the most part of the match. 

Lukasz started out great and returned like a madman putting so much pressure on our opponents which made me feel less pressure on my return and after a few games we started connecting together. All the way to 6-2, 6-1, 5-1. Then something happened and the set got a bit tight. We served it out to 6-4 so we left the court happy. I talked to Jonas Björkman after the match and he said it is a good thing that it got a bit tight at the end so we had to deal with those emotions also. Maybe he is right. Wouldn't be the first time...

I on the other hand was not was not 100% satisfied so I asked Lukasz coach, Jan, if he could come with me to Aorangi (the practice site) to feed me some balls. I wanted to swing freely and get some speed in my arm. Of course he said yes, and we had a good 30 minutes of doing some drills. After that I felt better. And ready for the next round. Which is going to be a very tough one. We play Hewitt/Guccione. We had a battle against them in Paris and I hope we can get away with another W.

London.

So, this time the break in writing has not been my fault. For some reason I could not log into Squarespace. The site I use to blog for you. I have tried for days and just wouldn't let me. So if you are looking for someone to blame, then blame squarespace. Or the internet in Eastbourne. It was slow. So both of you who read my blog now knows where to take your complaints...

The grass season started great I think. I felt great in Halle, hitting the ball very clean and was happy as can be to be off the clay. Sadly the tournament ended in a way you never want to happen. But it does now and then and Lukasz should be fit for Wimby. Kinda happy about that!!!

So after we pulled out of Halle there was nothing to do but set my sights on Eastbourne. I wanted to play in Holland but the Beast (Max Mirniy) wanted to play in England. It is more convenient but I do prefer s'Hertogenbosch. (Yes, that is the name of the place.)

It was amazing to play with Max. His attitude is second to none. So positive and he keeps pushing you no matter what is happening. He could have the best attitude in tennis, singles and doubles.

We won close one against two very good doubles players in the first round only to lost disappointingly in the next. The Skupski brother connected when they had to, so our hats go off to them.

The only good thing about losing was that I could leave Eastbourne, which is beautiful but really boring, and come to London. I love this city. One of my top 5 favorite cities really. I always feel like home here. 

I will have a day or two off now. I really need it. Then  back to work preparing for the best tournament in the world.

Off to Munich.

Well, as happy as I was reaching the quarters in Paris it doesn't even compare to how disappointed I was/am losing in it. It was really not one of the best matches we ever played. I was not hitting the ball cleanly at all and we were a bit lost with our tactics and positioning. Too many holes between us.

But I also have to give credit where credit is due. They played a very good match and they are obviously seeing the ball big. Sam serves like a monster and did so against us. If you have ever returned a serve that comes at you at 210km/h you know how fast that is. But I have to tell you, to return a serve that comes at you at about 230km/h is a huge difference. Those 20km/h or so is a joke. The ball just rockets at you and to hit it clean, even if it is in your honeyhole, feels like impossible. Unless you are really on your game. Fascinating really. Wish I had a serve like that.

That Andery Golubev is a great ball striker is no secret. Sadly he was seeing the ball like a watermelon so he refused to miss much.  Difficult combination to play against. Just wish we would have made a better match. 

The last matches in a Grand Slam are obviously the most difficult ones to win. The teams that are there are there for a reason so you have to play better and better to win. But I think I can honestly say I will never get a better chance of winning the French. And I blew it. That fucking hurts.

Now I am on my way to Munich to see a specialist before I fly to Halle and start the grass season. The best season of the year. We all know that tennis should be played on grass and 99% of the calendar should be changed to grass tournaments. I am not biased at all... Eeeeeh!!!

There is something very charming about playing on grass. I do love it. It is just so classic. Difficult to put your finger on it really, maybe it is because so few tournaments are played on it so it just feels different. Or maybe it is simply because the best tournament in the world is played on it. Wimbledon.

Time to stock up on the allergy medicine since I am actually allergic to grass. A lot of sneezing to expect for the next month. As always...

Quarters.

If you would have told me before I would have had a hard time believing you. Especially how the margins had been against us leading up to the French. But that is the beauty of sport, isn't it? Everything can change at anytime. Kinda. Almost. 

Three very good matches from us so far. The 3rd round was finally played in the sun, so the conditions were very different. Fast and lively. Finally. But it was like playing a new tournament. When the sun comes out here, the courts get very slippery very fast. So it wasn't easy to find your grip. But unlike what I used to think earlier in my career, that does not just happen to me. It seems conditions are the same for everybody. Who would have thought?!?

But a very solid match from us and we are extremely happy to be in the quarters. Not too happy of course, just the right amount of happiness. 

We have had two days off now which is not ideal as you prefer to keep going. But it is what it is and we will be ready either way. After all the years of playing here at Roland Garros I have realized that this is the tournament who listens the least to the players. Or at all for that matter. It's like it's a constant battle between the tournament and the players. Sad really considering how much the other Grand Slams have improved.

So quarters tomorrow on the cool and "round" court 1. If you have been here you know what I mean. We'll be ready.

3rd round.

Well, who would have thought? We could win two matches in a row again. Happy days!!! 

Two great matches from me and Lukasz. It was a lot of fun to play Lleyton Hewitt. I never did. It is always fun to play the champions. Very tough combination that one. One of the best returners of the game and one of the best servers in Chris Guccione. We played some of the best we have since Australia and played a great third set to win the match. 

I know the second match meant a lot to Lukasz since he played his former partner Oli Marach. It is always a bit special when you do, so I knew I had to be sharp to help my partner. And luckily, we both were. We played a great first set and an even better second. And now we are hungry for more.

We play a "new" team in the third round. Ivan Dodig got an injury here and had to pull out of doubles before the draw was made. This didn't leave Marcelo Melo a lot of time to find a new partner for the tournament, but he found a good one in Erlich. And they have played great so far. Which often is the case when you play with no real expectations. Like we did in Australia kind of.

So we will have to continue our form and preferably step it up even more. Kinda easier that way. Or less hard...

We had an easy day today with just an hour hit and some gym work. Nice to take it a bit slow now and then and conserve the energy. Because like I said, we are going to need it in the next round!