from his Hompage:
To be continued
It´s not only me that is 30 something i Monaco - it´s the the weather too. I have been hanging out and relaxing at the beach with my family the last few days, just kicking back since Swedish Open in Båstad. I will not unpack my training gear until Wednesday, Thursday when my trainer Daniel Hedin comes over to Monaco and starts to kick my but, until I leave for Toronto next week.
My increasing success this year - with six doubles titles, a final in Nottingham, semi final in Wimbledon, ranked as 29 and the best Swedish player in the world: all in all my best year since 1998 - has raised questions about wether this is a perfect time to end my carreer, or if this inspires me to go on further. Well, I have answered questions about if it´s time to quit for the last eight years or so! And I have said that I will continue for 2-3 years. But those years have come and gone several times, and my carreer has carried on in a fantastic way, so my answer now is that I take one year at the time and listens to my body before I decide. I still love the sport and the atmosphere that surrounds it intensively, and I feel strong. If I wouldn´t win another match this year, I would still end up around 60-70 in the rankings. So, it just feels that things are going a little bit to good to not continue at least one more year...!
5 reasons for 34
People have asked me lately how it is possible for me, at 34, to still reach success at the highest level. What is the "big secret"? Well, as I see it, these are the five keys:
1. Fitness. At the ages 18-25, I trained extremely hard and created a solid foundation that I still gain from. I won three five set matches in this years Wimbledon for instance. I don´t train as hard anymore, but I train smarter. I know my body very well, and my priority lies on quality instead of quantity. My trainer Daniel Hedin has been, and still is, of great importance here.
2. No injuries. I have managed to stay free from serious injuries.
3. Experience. I never get surprised or stressed over circumstances I can´t control, such as a row of rain delays in Wimbledon. I can change my game according to different circumstances and opposition. I have a good balance between expectations and results.
4. Passion. As I have said: I love playing tennis as much as ever before, and I truly love to get the possibility to go out in front of a enthusiastic crowd and give all that I have. I am at a position in my carreer where I can relax, play without pressure, just enjoy the situation. Especially when I manage to turn everything around after a down period, such as in Nottingham this year.
5. Surprise! I don´t have the capacity to play at my top level day in and day out, but when I am hot, I am sizzzzzling! And that is a source of inspiration in itself: to upset the odds, deliver the unexpected, and show anyone who doubts what I really still can achieve. Anything is possible, you just need to have the right mindset and attitude. 34 is not an age - it´s a combination of figures.
Everything looked so good. I had a superior lead halfway into the match. Then I lost focus in some strange way, and ended, very painfully, as second in the most prestigious tournament of the year. Off course I am talking about Björkman Open, our families golf tournament that ended our time in Båstad for the seventh time this year. After a few misses on 10-13th holes, the victory went to my father in law Petter. In some strange way...
I won the doubles title in Båstad together with Thomas Johansson this weekend. Extra special that it was together with Thomas. This was my 6th title in Båstad, more than anyone else. The 3rd title in a row in Båstad. I now have 48 ATP titles, and 6 this year. If I win two more I have a personal record of 8 titles in one year. I am aiming for that.
Ice cream and potato chips
I am not training at all this week, just relaxing in the splendid sun, eating ice cream and potato chips and being lazy in general... On Thursday I will go back to Monaco, stay there for 12 days before the hardcourt season starts in Toronto.
At home in Båstad
I am back in Båstad. Feels just great to be back home again, very satisfying, and to bring the latest couple of results with me. I´ve had a great welcoming here, and I feel stronger both mentally and physically than in recent years, so hopefully I can do a few good matches, despite the clay.
Thanks to my performances in recent weeks, I have climbed to spot 29 in the rankings, squeezed in between Guillermo Coria and Sebastien Grosjean. Whith that, I am Sweden´s highest ranked player.
Maybe it´s true what they say - not too bad for a 34 year old...
What a fantastic few weeks I´ve had. In the final in Nottingham. Semi final in Wimbledon. A great interest and reception from all kinds of media and legendary players like Stan Smith, John McEnroe, Henri Leconte, Michael Stich, Gene Mayer. Have been called Iron Man, among other things. I guess they just want to enroll me for that veteran´s tour that I am qualified for next year... but they have to wait, I haven´t won Wimbledon yet...!
Everybody wants to know how it is possible to reach the semi final in Wimbledon, further than ever before, at 34.
Loving the game is a good start. For me, it feels like it´s still growing. I don´t know if I have ever enjoyed playing tennis as much as I do right now. I really like challenging that number, 34. What can I still achieve? What can I still improve? For how long can I stay competitive? How can I use all my experience the best way possible?
My experience is another answer to the 34 question. If I just manage to bring the right amount of self confidence with me, of the kind I gained in Nottingham, I know myself and the circumstances around the game so well that I can use them in a smart way. I know how much I need to practise and play to be on top, I can handle all match situations without getting stressed, I can adapt my game suit the circumstances as good as possible and my opponents as bad as possible. And then the old man need some luck too!