ItÂ´s been a while since I posted a story on my website. The question therefore is where to start because there is plenty to tell. For example about my trip to Asia? About the last two tournaments of the year? Or about the first week of my vacation? LetÂ´s begin by answering the first question.
A couple of weeks ago, I started my trip to Asia. I was really looking forward to it, because I felt much fitter than at Winston-Salem or the US Open. My first practice sessions did not go that smoothly.Â The lights did not work properly, so we couldnÂ´t really see the ball. Once the lights finally worked, we saw that there was a snake close to our tennis bags. So we were not really able to practice due to the poor lighting and on top of that we had to watch out not to get bit. Fortunately, nothing happened, but this was nevertheless the most exciting thing that happened that week.
I was really content with the way I played at Bangkok. Normally you feel disappointed when you lose a match but my match against Nieminen was at a very high level. My effort and game plan were good, I unfortunately made too many unforced errors. It might be weird for me to say that I am happy with the way I played, but if I would play in this style without the easy errors, I could achieve a much better ranking. Bangkok was a very special week for someone, which made it special for me too. My partner in doubles, Rogier Wassen, was playing his very last ATP tournament of his career. I enjoyed playing with him again. Unfortunately we lost in the quarterfinals, but our opponents simply were better than us.
Next destination after Bangkok was Tokyo. I had played this tournament before and itÂ´s great to play in Tokyo (and actually all of Asia). People visiting the tournaments really like tennis. Some even calmly watch a two-hourÂ practice sessions. They furthermore love to collect autographs. I unnecessarily lost my first round match. The good feeling I had after my match in Bangkok was completely gone. I served really well, but thatÂ´s the only thing I was happy with. I didnÂ´t take the initiative during the rally and my balls missed depth and speed. The circumstances were not optimal as well, but the opponent obviously also has this disadvantage. I reached the semifinals with Viktor Troicki in doubles, so I was able to play a bit more matches before leaving to Shangai.
In Shangai I had to play Nishikori in the first round. During practice, I was hitting the balls very well and I also started the match playing excellent tennis. It might have even been my best match from the baseline on hardcourt ever. However, my serve was terrible and really let me down this time. The longer the match lasted, the harder it got to win my service games. Eventually, I lost the match after a comfortable lead. This of course was very disappointing and should not happen again. The bizarre thing of all three tournaments was that all of my opponents played really well and were able to get good results. Looking back at my Asia trip, I feel that my season could have ended much better. But you are always wiser at hindsight and thinking like this doesnÂ´t change where I am now.
Since this story became quite extensive, I will answer the other two questions in my next update.