18 december 2016 21:30
December 2015, I was watching the Dutch National Championships in Topsportcentrum in Rotterdam, with some people from Sports-Enabled. At that time I was only playing wheelchairtennis for about two months. We were joking around, saying how awesome it would be if one us would play at this tournament once. None of us had thought about the fact that exactly one year later three of us would play the qualifications and that I would play in the main draw.
In October this year, I recieved an email that entry for the championships was open to sign up. Just to give it a try, I did sign up and after one month of waiting, I knew who were going to play here. I was one of them! No qualification needed, because only seven people signed up and one wildcard was given.
Time for training, a lot! I was excited to play this tournament, but I was worried about the draw, because many amazing players participate in this tournament. My trainer and I were focussed on training and hoping for a "easy" draw, but that did not happen. I had to play my first game against Olympic champion and world number 1, Jiske Griffioen.
Nerves were getting at me, the days before the match. I had never had anything like this with my nerves, so I did not know how to control them. Not even for a minute, I was able to play my own game and the easiest balls to play, went wide. I was not able to enjoy the game at all, because of everything that failed.
I was very disappointed in myself, that I did not play the way I can. But there was no time for disappointment, because I had to play juniors as well... I did not have to play qualification, but for the first match the draw was not good for me, again. My first match was against, first placed Ruben Spaargaren.
It seemed quite OK with the nerves, but as the match approached, so did my nerves. The new was gone, you would say, the ballboys and referee, but nothing is less true. Again the match was very bad from my side, again I could not play my game and I was disappointed, AGAIN!
I would love to forget this tournament and the matches, but I need to remember what I can learn from this, which is a lot. I am going to train hard again, to reach my goals in 2017. I have one more goals for next year: find a way to get my nerves in control. And hopefully I will be able to find my own way to play in matches again!