Re: New blog post - "My first time" - by Amir Weintraub
New Blog Post - Crash
The tennis player roller-coaster is a weird thing that can drive you insane. Last week I've told you about my first Grand Slam, but the same train which took me to the heights of unbelievable excitement, took me this week to the lowest place.
The mid-stop on the way to reality was in Hong-Kong. 10 hours wait on a bench back from Australia to Israel. The final stop of the train was when I landed in Israel in order to participate in a future in Eylat.
I think the simplest way to describe what I went through mentally is this – I left a 20 million tournament for a 10,000 dollars tournament. To explain this in soccer terms – I think I played a champion league game abroad, and the next day I got on the field for a C League game.
The second problem which is killing me is the status change. In Australia I was nothing and no one, a player ranked 270 in the world which nobody know and nobody pay any attention to, trying to win one match in qualifications. Here in Eylat I got, overnight, the status of the number one ranked player in the tournament. I'm top seed, I'm this Future's Nadal. I'm the guy everybody mark and everybody want to beat.
If in Australia the pressure was to do the unbelievable and win a round of qualifications, here in the pressure is, among other things, the panic of losing to a 'no-name'.
So I'm top seed, and on paper I'm suppose to win this, but check how many times the top seed in a Future takes the tournament. It barely happens. Unfortunately, this statistic also killed me this week.
So, how trickey are those little tournaments? So it's like this – in the first guy I got a Swiss guy who is 18 years old. There are 1,753 players in the world ranking, and this guy isn’t even amongst them. I don't know him, I can only find before the match someone who tells me that the guy was "good and you should be careful'. I won 6-2, 6-2.
I went to sleep with one ranking point that I got for victory and a 100 dollars. I'm back to the reality where victory is worth one ranking point (how can you move ahead like that? It's like trying to conquer the Everest when you're only allowed to take one step every day) and to a financial reality where I spend more money than I make. Because I'm in Israel, I allowed myself to go "wild" and brought my coach, Shlome Tzoref, with me. Which means the burden of food and hotel expenses that I need to pay for him, but if I won't take Tzoref to tournaments in Israel and won't allow myself to spend a little on some extra professional expenses, then there really are no boundaries to being a tightwad.
A future is the lowest level of tournaments. There are over 450 tournaments like that during the year. But these are the real life of most of the tennis players I meet. We don't talk about Australia Qualifications, and the dream is to get out of the horror circle and manage to enter challengers.
The week later the draw summoned me a Russian guy called Alexander Rumyantsev., 548 in the world. Decent.
A day later it is already Walter Trusendi., 392 in the world, highly ranked for a future. I pass him an already see the finals on the horizon, even though I know deep down that I'm not playing well ever since I got to Eylat. I discover that the things I'm going through in my career lately are messing with my head.
I've been in Eylat for four days already and the head isn't cleared of Australia yet. I find myself tell people about my experiences from Melbourne - meeting Dudi, how Shahar Peer, just a few days ago, took me under her wing, tried to guide me and calm me down.
The head is already busy with the official summon I got for the DC team, being the number 2 racquet for the upcoming tie in March against Poland. Me and Dudi will lead the team. Where am I, and where is that Future that I'm playing in right now?
The punishment comes swiftly. In the semis I get a guy called Roman Vogeli, Czech dude. I look at the lists and see the guy is ranked 638 in the world. I'm Amir Weintroub, number 270 in the world, ex qualification grand Slam. I go to play the match and get thumped 6-3,6-3. Australia seems like a nightmare to me.
I think this is the most disappointment part. Playing in Australia made me really believe that I'm at the level of those guys, ranked between 100 – 200 in the world, I'm dealing with them great, I feel I belong in this level. I feel I have learned in the past few weeks how to fight, I'm a different person in many ways.
In the middle of all of that I lose to the 638 in the world. So, was the last month the abnormal one? Some of the answers I will get this week – I have another future in Eylat. The race for 17 ranking points starts all over again…
Last edited by Or Levy; 01-25-2011 at 07:43 AM.