Two questions remained unanswered after my last story. The first was about my last two tournaments. With Vienna and Basel, I completed my first full ATP season. In Vienna I again lost against Nieminen. I had lots of chances turning the match around in the second set but missed my opportunities. It proved to be a short week as I was not able to compete in doubles due to a very strong field. The cut-off was 41 and at that time my singles ranking was 42, so even if I would have played with the number 1 of the world, I would not have been able to get into the main draw.
One week later, I was able to play doubles with Florian Mayer; we lost in the second round. For singles, I was paired to Andy Murray in my first round match. I lost against him in a close match at the US Open this year, whilst being injured. So I was really looking forward to play against him because I felt much fitter now. However, 1.5 hours prior to the match he withdrew (coincidently with a similar injury that I had at the US Open) and I had to play lucky loser and Swiss native Chiudinelli. Of course itÂ´s better to play against a lucky loser than to play against the number three of the world. But still, it can be tricky since you all of a sudden are the favorite, whilst being the underdog seconds before. Luckily he was a bit nervous and I had a great start. I was able to win in straight sets. With this victory, I reached my goal of ending the season in the ATP top 50.
The next logical step would be to get into the top 30, which is consequently one of my goals for next season. Perhaps, I could have already achieved it this year, if I would not have had a couple of injuries which hindered me in playing my best tennis. And so we get to the last remaining item, I still need to tell you about: My first week of vacation.
Last week I returned from Basel and lots of people were questioning why I did not compete at Paris. The reason for this is simple; I had to choose between two options. 1. Play an extra tournament and have less time for practice and physical training. 2. Start my physical workout and practice sooner in preparation for next season. Focusing on my physical strength would reduce the chance for injuries next season. As a consequence I will be able to play more tournaments and also will be fitter and therefore able to maintain a good level of play during long matches. I chose the second option! Instead of taking a break, last week I did intensive physical workouts twice a day. I will keep on following this schedule for the next two weeks. After taking some days of rest, I will combine physical workouts with tennis practice in order to prepare for the 2012 season.
I will post a video next week, so you get an idea what type of exercises I do and how my â€œvacationâ€ looks like.