I never thought my mom’s Christmas present could be so useful. Obama’s Autobiography has been a genuine inspiration and my companion for many hours of reading. The nearly 800 pages of the book proved insufficient for my desire to read it and for the time available. Sometimes I catch myself “saving” the book by saying to myself: “don’t read so much that it has to last until the end of my quarantine”.
During this time, the days passed and there I managed to convince myself to take care of the physical. I started to think about a training program adapted to a room of a little more than 20m2. I opted for a simple circuit, reminiscent of the few weeks I spent in the military: push-ups, alternating with sit-ups, squats and short runs. It was possible to sweat and justify a good hot bath.
During the day I like to read, write or watch Netflix series. The nights are more intense and longer. It’s already daylight in Portugal and as such I end up spending many hours on consecutive video calls dealing with work issues or enjoying family and friends.
The topic of food was one of the most controversial in our early 40s in Australia. The vast majority of players expressed their dislike for the organization. In the early days, I thought it was unnecessary. There were much more serious problems to be solved, both for the organization and for ourselves. However, with the situation stabilizing and the quarantine routine tightening, this topic started to make more sense to me. It is getting harder and harder to eat most of the meals that take me to my room. Despite the concern to send us “healthy foods”, it begins to tighten (and a lot!) The desire to eat things that make me happy. I find myself “dreaming” of things as simple as toast with butter, good cheese or hot soup. Or, quite simply, a good burger with fries and cola. Here, this last option is remote from an order at Uber Eats and sometimes it becomes irresistible!
My last days were also very sad news for me. My maternal grandmother passed away overnight. Despite being 94 years old, it’s still hard to lose someone who is so close to us. And my grandmother Odete was very close, in addition to having played a very important role for me, especially in my childhood and my adolescence. Even more difficult is being away from her and my family at this time. The pandemic has been tough on all of us, but the atrocity it has inflicted on the elderly is insane. It is astounding to endow people of this age with almost complete isolation. She too ended up being a victim of the consequences of the pandemic, even though she had never been infected or appeared in DGS statistics.
We still adhere to the meeting with Tennis Australia with the hope of receiving good news regarding the lock-up, hoping that they anticipate our departure. We had no luck. Although the Doha flight was positive, the truth is that no one else on our flight has ever tested positive. After 10 days of our arrival, the likelihood of someone coming in for a positive test was almost zero. This argument served to offer Tennis Australia a “bubble” within the “bubble” with the players who were on the Doha flight. They accepted and were sensitive to our situation, but never succeeded in convincing the health authorities.
Thus, our departure was scheduled for this Saturday and we expected to leave at the end of the 14 days, which would allow us to be free exactly at the time of our arrival at the hotel, that is to say around 9 am. According to our calculations, we would have 3 days of training (Saturday, Sunday and Monday) until the first round of the Melbourne ATP 250 match. However, two days before the end of our quarantine, another bad news: the Australian health entity does not We were allowed to leave the room only on Saturday night! This news was very badly received by all players and coaches, as expected. In addition to having no scientific basis (all players and coaches were confined and with negative tests for 13 consecutive days !!) it compromised the preparation – already difficult – of the players. If preparing for a tournament in three days – after a quarantine of two weeks – was difficult, doing it in just two made things even more complicated.
However, we are delighted to come to the end of this “unexpected experience” and have already started to prepare for our return to training.
Our biggest concern during these two weeks has been trying to minimize the risk of injury when returning to competition and trying to maintain the physical cues. We are very satisfied and confident with the work done during these weeks. Now it’s about trying to have as much feeling on the pitch in the few hours of training that we have left and taking advantage of the opportunity to compete again.
In the next few days, we have training with the American Maxime Cressy, the Bolivian Hugo Dellien and the Russian Roman Safiullin. We have 4 training sessions left until Tuesday’s game with Czech Jiri Vesely, currently 68 ATP.
This situation is new for everyone and, as such, there is great uncertainty about what we will be able to do this first week in terms of competitiveness. For obvious reasons, expectations are not high, but Frederico’s motivation, determination and competitiveness can work wonders.
See you later!