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Re: New blog post - "My first time" - by Amir Weintraub

Very very interesting reads, thanks for the translations.
 

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Discussion Starter #62
Re: New blog post - "My first time" - by Amir Weintraub

BTW, I sent Amir the link to this post (I'm his friend on facebook) and he 'liked' it. Maybe we'll see more blogs in the future!
 

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Re: New blog post - "My first time" - by Amir Weintraub

i dont think he'll write this week cause amir is playing in future in Israel and he is in the semies (he is 1st seed)
 

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Discussion Starter #66 (Edited)
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.

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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…
 

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Re: New blog post (24/1/11) - "Crash" - by Amir Weintraub

Very interesting read...hope he continues to write.
 

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Re: New blog post (24/1/11) - "Crash" - by Amir Weintraub

It's fascinating to rejoice with his small triumphs and share his sadness and disappointments
 

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Re: New blog post (24/1/11) - "Crash" - by Amir Weintraub

the thing is that he's a good writer in my opinion. he can draw you into his mindset and make you feel for both him and his colleagues that play on the futures tour. if these were written by someone with a lesser gift for the written word they'd probably be dull.
 

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Re: New blog post (24/1/11) - "Crash" - by Amir Weintraub

Great read, explains how unglamourous the tennis world is at that level in particular. Not done in a way that is negative either.
 

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Re: New blog post (24/1/11) - "Crash" - by Amir Weintraub

interesting read

the dude might consider a career as a writer given that he's such a big mug on the tour



















































just joking
 

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Re: New blog post (24/1/11) - "Crash" - by Amir Weintraub

interesting read

the dude might consider a career as a writer given that he's such a big mug on the tour

just joking
But true (even though the use of the M word is kinda cruel when you see all the hardships he has to endure).
 

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Re: New blog post (24/1/11) - "Crash" - by Amir Weintraub

Another great installment. I can really feel for him when he asks how he's supposed to gain any ground if he's playing tournaments where he's only gaining one ranking point for winning a match. It just seems like one big rut they're in and as frustrating as it is, they can't/won't walk away. Got to admire their drive and resilience.
 

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Re: New blog post (24/1/11) - "Crash" - by Amir Weintraub

"I kbow you from somewhere" - 31/1/2011


This week I will take a pass on describing my performance in the Eilat Future. For two reasons: A) Nothing interesting happened here that didn't happen when I was here last week. B) It's beginning to be a little unpleasant. I got thumped in the semis again, this time by a Serbian opponent ranked 658 in the world. Bummer.

But something did grab me this week. Something that can give a little example as to the mental issues tennis players go through during their careers. In short, the story is like this: While I'm hanging in Eilat I see a familiar guy, this mountain I ran into a few years ago.
After straining my memory for a while it comes back to me – I played against him 4 years ago in a challenger in Uzbekistan. He was a 1.90 meters tall giant. A Russian guy by the name of Pavel Chekhov. He didn't have ranking points yet, I was around 500 in the world.
I remembered how the 18 years old kid beat me during the last round of qualification, then he made the finals and started an incredible run of wins. Within a few weeks he made it to the top ranking of 291 in the world. Everyone who saw him knew he's on the sure way to become a top 20 player. He had a serve, a huge forehand. Everything you need.

When I met him in Eilat, the giant remained a giant, but there was nothing left of that player.

He fell out of the top ranking. He had this rare and bizarre phenomena which had wrecked promising careers for several players – he forgot how to hit a forehand. Literally. Forgot. No other reasonable explanation for this. He just can't put the forehand into the court, no matter what he tried to do. Today he has no ranking points, after losing them all. In the last 23 tournaments before Eilat, he lost 21 times in the first round. Even in Eilat, which is the smallest tournament there is, he couldn't get past qualifications.

Another player this happened to, only with the serve. Is Argentinian Coria, who was 3 in the world, and one day discovered he can't make his serve go over the net. Coria would finish matches with 17, 20 or 23 double faults. After all the troubles with drugs, injuries – he ended up unable to put a serve in the court and had to retire from tennis.

*****

Other Phenomena you can find even in the smaller tournaments, are players which are ranked very low, but still keep a prestigious team around them. Part of this is due to the player feeling that the breakthrough is gonna come any minute now (which of course, does not happen), and they allow themselves to hire some hot-shot ex tennis players as coaches.
Some of them are guys who were already in the highest levels, got injured, and to get back to the top they decide to continue and act just like they did when they were at the top of the game, so you see them being dragged to obscure tournaments with teams like it was grand slam.

Famous coaches have a psychological impact on the rivals. In Eilat I ran into a Spanish Player and a Belgian player, each with his own personal coach. Both coaches were ex players who retired last year from tennis – Olivier Rochus from Belgium who was 24 in the world, and the other was Fernando Vicente who was 29 in the world and beat players like Agassi, Henman, Philippoussis and Tommy Haas.


Inexperienced players and those who get stressed out a little more than the rest see the other player with that coach and start shivering without even knowing if the other player is any good. Just knowing that "That" guy is over there, has an impact.

A little embarrassing, but I have to confess I also fell into this trap of fearing the rival's coach. I played a challenger in the US and the draw paired me up with Alex Bogdanovic from England. Top 150 player at the time. When I stepped up the court, I see his coach is none other than legendary Brad Gilbert. I froze. I lost 6-1, 6-2.
I remember that most of the match I was preoccupied with Brad Gilbert and not the match. I looked for him in the audience; once in a while I glanced at his direction. After the match I was honest enough to admit to myself that I lost that match to Gilbert, who was sitting in the stands.

***

In exactly one month and a half we're playing against Poland in DC. I already got the news that I was the number 2 racquet. I just now begin to understand the guys, Dudi, Harel, Noam, Andy and Yoni, who had to manage two careers for years. The personal one and the DC career. To the pressure of getting the ranking points and grasping your career by the teeth, there is an added pressure of bigger exposure and not-so-amazing results like the results I had just now in Eilat, which are now not only a personal matter, but also embarrassing to me as a member of the DC team.

I feel that pressure growing and growing. The pressure to get ranking points. The pressure not mess up in small tournaments, the pressure not to mess up in Davis Cup. The pressure to start and make some money. Pressure.
Next week I'll be far away from Eilat. A challenger in Russia. Away from everything I hope to get things back on track. Point by point, game by game.
 

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Re: New blog post (77#) (31/1/11) - "I know you from somewhere" - by Amir Weintrau

if a famous coach is enough to get a journeyman nervous, i wonder what would a journeyman feel if he'd get to see federer or nadal accross the net.

very interesting story about the russian too. keep them coming :)
 

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Re: New blog post (77#) (31/1/11) - "I know you from somewhere" - by Amir Weintrau

Isn't Chekhov the guy that Genci played against in the Universiade?
 

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Re: New blog post (77#) (31/1/11) - "I know you from somewhere" - by Amir Weintrau

I love following this blog. But it gives you the harsh reality which makes me appreciate even more the top players for being able to go through that and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Of course if you're gifted like Federer, Nadal, Djoko, Murray, etc i think your journey is way faster.
 
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