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What is it, that makes a human struggle eight hours a day in practice and cross borders that you would normally avoid? What makes an athlete with all her strengths and weaknesses confront the public just to be judged mercilessly when success is missing? Is it the money, the fame or the recognition? A little bit of everything and nothing of that really.
If you grow up playing tennis from your childhood and you compete with your opponents eyeball to eyeball all the time, these concomitants fade. The intense emotions you experience within a match cannot be compared to anything else or be found in another job. Me being bubbly and sensitive anyway, I undergo the whole spectrum from anger, grief, disappointment and distress to joy, euphoria, pride and happiness throughout a match. Some people jump out of planes, some go skiing or drive a car real fast, others change their partners and take drugs to live in extremes. I take the rollercoaster of feelings every time I go out on the court and I am extremely fortunate to be able to make a living out this way.
The competition, the pursuit of almost impossible perfection, the often underestimated mental challenge, the release after you convert a match ball – all that brings a certain something to my life, that makes it interesting, diverse and worth living.
My first and livelong coach is my father Zoran. He taught me how to play tennis, he passed me the passion for this sport and imparted all the technical subtleties onto me. He is always composed and stable, regardless the fact that as a youngster I often used lose it, chopped rackets and absolutely misbehaved. Many people demanded he should upbraid me and this would never take a good ending, because as a father he is to forbearing with me. But his patience paid off. I learned my lesson, I don’t lose my temper anymore I have become very calm. His coaching philosophy always focused on long-term nature results and lost matches never were an object of debate after we concluded score evaluation.
As my father is also busy giving lessons at the tennis-club TEC Darmstadt, I work with Jan de Witt on the tour. Jan is a very forward-thinking coach who works with video analysis a lot. He ist very determined and knows where he wants to lead me to.