Wimbledon has come to an end and how exciting it was to play singles at this wonderful event. The third grand slam of the year is done. And after that the focus is on the Paralympic Games in september. Two more months before this tournament will start. Two more months to prepare for the event we have all been waiting for.
Part of my preparation is one last tournament. At the British Open I have one more chance to play matches against top players. After playing on the grass courts at Wimbledon, it is important to play matches on hard court again, as it’s really different. It’s a chance to focus on how I want to play at the Games in Rio and build my game. Winning might not even be the main goal at this event, but building my tennis is. I’m happy with the tennis that I’m playing, even though I lose the semi final against Jordanne Whiley in three sets. In doubles we play some really good matches and win the final against Buis/de Groot, the team that will be competing at the games in Rio as well.
After that I have one more month of preparation ahead of me. As it’s going to be my fourth Paralympic Games in tennis, I know whats important in the last couple of weeks. One of the hardest thing to do, is to take time to rest and relax. Trust on the things you’ve been working on for the last four years. Trust on the plan you’ve made with your team.
The first week I focus on physical training only. I put my rackets aside and don’t spent any time on court. This might sound strange a month before the biggest tennis event starts. It’s great to work on the physical stuff, without having to worry it might effect your tennis training the day after. And it makes you ‘hungry’ to go back on court after that week. In the weekend I spent my time at the sailing boat of my parents. The best way to relax for me is on the water. Rest and staying relaxed are two other key elements when you have to perform at the highest level.
Then I have three weeks of training ahead of me. I spent a lot of time on court and in the gym. I have to make sure every aspect of my game is perfect. The last week we have a training camp in Amsterdam with the four women who are competing at the games in Rio. It is bloody hot in Amsterdam this week, so we couldn’t have asked for a better forecast to get ready for some Brasilian weather. To me, it is amazing that we spent a good week of training together, even though we will be each others opponents two weeks later. We are all willing to work and train together. Two weeks laters we will be each others biggest ‘enemies’.