I tell you what a Grand Slam is not…dull!
From lunch with Gasquet to a bit of banter with Roger and hopefully some real learning in-between for Josh, today has certainly been packed with experiences.
Unfortunately, Josh went down today- he got himself in a set winning position at 4-2 40-15 chance for double break, before the whole match unravelled before his eyes. The ability to ‘re-group’ is certainly a lesson that I hope he takes from today. Never more so on the big stage (where everything is magnified) do you need to take your time and use your routines and make time almost stop, as in the heat of the battle with hundreds of French fans gunning for you, time, and in turn the match can slip away from you.
Josh responded like a champion and got back on the practice court with his doubles partner and STA Access Player Liam Broady in the afternoon and got his energy moving in the right direction. How you respond to adversity really is a defining quality and Josh stepped up.
So as I said above, Mr Gasquet parked himself on our table for lunch, after a few pleasantries with his team they were separate to our group, but I did spy his lunch and can report he ate lots of chicken, rice and bread as well as some kind of recovery drink – are you reading kids?
In the junior changing room, the juniors got to rub shoulders with Tsonga, although the fans outside still have not made their mind up who is Tsonga and who is Josh. Then the man, Roger Federer, walked in. I felt a tap on my side, ‘what’s up Dan?’ And there he was, RF. We exchanged a few words, and then stood and watched Cibulkova/Azarenka, which RF was following. I had the privilege of a running commentary by…Roger Federer! Much to his satisfaction Cibulkova closed out the 2nd set and he particularly liked the drop shot to set up the pass on match point – still a kid at heart and a pleasure to be in his company. It really struck me how chilled out and relaxed he was minutes before his match, laughing and joking. Years of winning and knowing his game do that I guess.
In other news Kyle Edmund and Luke Bambridge produced strong performances to carry the British flag on jubilee day – I really believe the culture of this crop of juniors is excellent and we are going to have more household names than Andy Murray in the coming years.
Time to sign out for the day, but let me share a text message I received at 11.45 pm just now
‘Dan, can Josh hit with Rafa at 12.30 tomorrow?’
I guess tomorrow won’t be dull either.
One again I feel lucky to be part of this amazing experience.
Play to Win and God Save the Queen!
Director, SotoTennis Academy
Inspiring Excellence | Tennis Academy Spain