As spectators and fans, we sometimes wonder why it is so difficult to pass the first round of a grand slam. Two players who come in mind are Marinko Matosevic and Jarmila Gajdosova, who made it through to the 2nd round of the Aussie Open after their 5th and 10th appearance respectively. Both athletes are seasoned professionals who have the ability to match the best of the best on any given day. So why did it take so many attempts before a breakthrough?
There are some players who are the type that love the big crowds and centre court, while others prefer the smaller crowds and show courts. A grand slam is nothing like a regular tennis tournament and it can take a while (years) for an athlete to make that mental and emotional adjustment.
Let me paint a picture of what it really is like. There are thousands of people around, as opposed to a few hundred at smaller events. The change rooms are busier and the re stringing service may not feel so personal like it usually does. The queue for lunch is long and there is a lot of selection to choose from. There isn’t a lot of relationship building and networking going on either. It’s all business. An athletes success here has a lot to do with their temperament and how they react under varying circumstances.
At a grand slam event, there is never a smooth ride so you’ve got to buckle up but don’t forget to enjoy the ride!
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