Im writing this before the mens final in Melbourne. Nadal vs Djokovic. On the womens side we saw a great final with 2 great stories. Kvitova vs Osaka. To come back and win after having matchpoints in the second set is so strong! The tournament has seen some great stories and younger player emerging on the big stage. Im thinking about Tiafoe, Tsitsipas and Di Minaur among others on the mens side. Still we have Novak vs Rafa in the finals.
Nadal has looked so good the whole tournament and thats normally a bit unusual even for him after a long break. Very impressive AGAIN. Novak is back playing with fire and anger. These guys are amazing. Both guys on top form. Could be epic.
The overall level of tennis has been good. But its not the tournament that will go down in history for the many amazing matches overall in my eyes. This because of the fast surface but anyway nice to see tennis implementing different court speeds. Im a fan of different court speeds in general. Remarkable also to see the venue in Melbourne growing every year. Tennis Australia is probably the best event organisers in tennis and money is just flooding in to the system not only here but in all the grand slam countries. Money that can help those countries invest in junior development, hire the best coaches, be stakeholders in more events, bying land to build bigger stadiums and building huge centres short of nothing. All while smaller countries are struggling big time in tennis. On top of that it seems like the new ranking system has drastically cut jobs in tennis making the life of players ranked 300-700 almost impossible. Smaller countries dont have a huge amount of wild cards to give. So its a tougher road. Its also financially very tough to organise ITF future these days if you dont have a big al incusive hotel to host players in. Its very costly to send players on tournaments. Sponsors is really tough to get as smaller countries many times dont have huge events and exposure is therefore limited. We dont compete on the same terms but this also reflects life in general. Its a reflection of life. Money rules the world. Fact. As a small player you have 2 choices. Complain or suck it up, be humble and work your ass off.
Stan had a tough second round against Raonic. We won 1 tiebreak and lost 3. Very tough loss as we felt we had put in a lot of work and he was playing well. Credit to Milos for playing well. Next up is Sofia and Rotterdam in Europe. Very much looking forward to the rest of the season together.
I went back to Stockholm straight after Melbourne and have been working with our players at the academy since then. The head of sports at the academy is Mikael Tillstrom and whenever im at home i will tag in to the training where i can do any positive difference. One of my core philosophies is to be on the court everyday. The academy is really at a good level now. We will expend with another fulltime fitness coach from 1 March. The team is growing. Last week i worked with Henrik and next week i will work more isolated with Gustaf and his coach Martin. Good to Great Tennis Academy had 4 players competing in the junior main draw in Australian Open. We were able to do this trip with financial support from the federations of the players and with help of a sponsor to the academy. Thanks you very much for giving the players this possibility! We dont have endless pockets to dig from so we have to be smart. Very thankful for the support and for beeing able to do this trip.
*** Andy Murray what a champion. Warrior really. Fighter that never gave up and with a huge charisma. Hope he can get the end of his career that he wants and deserves.
*** The new ranking system with the transition tour has not impressed me so far i have to say. Why making it more difficult for players that already had a tough time? We will have to wait some time before we can say something for sure but at the moment im not super positive.
Looking forward to watch the mens final tomorrow. Hope you are watching as well.
Have a nice weekend!