Just arrived in Paris today for Roland Garros, so I figured it was fitting to talk about how unique this part of the year is. Normally when I leave home, I set out to be on the road anywhere from 2-3 weeks, which makes this 7-8 week swing through grass season very different to manage. Here are a few of my thoughts that I had on my 10 hour flight.
Long Time Away
Mentally knowing that you’ll be gone for two months can be daunting. Like I mentioned already, I’m used to being gone for 2-3 weeks at a time, and this trip is more than double that amount of time. I travel often, but I still get homesick. Missing family, friends, my routine, and my dog are still things I deal with regularly. Thankfully my mom came with me to Paris and other people at home will catch up with me at certain periods of my trip. It’s always helpful to have a little bit of home come along to aid ones mental and emotional health.
Packing is a Challenge
Normally I have a set amount of clothes I bring for a 2-3 week trip and just settle to do laundry maybe once or twice when necessary. That being said, having Wimbledon in your schedule changes things a bit, because you need to bring whites! Whatever clothes I wear at Roland Garros and the grass warm up tournaments can’t be worn at Wimbledon.
On top of more clothing, I need to bring three types of tennis shoes; clay shoes for Roland Garros; hard court shoes for the practices before grass courts are available; and grass shoes for grass season. There is no other time in the year where I have to bring three different types of tennis shoes.
In terms of supplies, it’s quite easy to just bring a little more string and a few more grips for your rackets. The more challenging part is bringing enough nutrition. I like to keep things consistent wherever I go so bringing my Picky Bars/Oats and my Saltstick is a must. Saltstick is easy to bring lots of, but bringing enough bars and oats for a 2 month period can add up in your baggage weight allowance.
All in all, I am accustomed to packing quite minimally, but this trip has so many necessities, packing light is not possible. Good thing my mom came, because I occupied half of her luggage. (Unfortunately, her luggage is still missing as of now – but that’s a story for another post.)
Two Very Different Surfaces
There isn’t much time between Roland Garros and the first grass season event. With the first grass tournament during the second week of Roland Garros, players are going from slow play to fast play with a week’s time adjustment. Having said that, I find this to be a real dynamic part of our sport. Both surfaces are entertaining in their own way, but at the same time are polar opposites and played so close in the calendar.
Idea of Two Slams!
The idea of leaving home and coming back having played two slams is cool to think of. With the other two slams in the year there is so much build up to the events. Prior to the Australian Open, there is the preseason where players have the most amount of rest and time to train for the upcoming year. Not to mention, Australia isn’t an easy place to get to, so the travel there is epic in itself. As for the U.S. Open, there is this long hard court swing in North America that leads up to all the lights and action at NYC.
For some reason, Roland Garros seems to just creep up on the players every year and once that’s over, grass season starts straight away. With it being the shortest season of the year, Wimbledon comes by in a flash. As I left my house a day ago I thought that the next time I step through my front door, I would have played two slams. Surreal! Maybe it’s just the nerd in me that is just super honored to be participating.
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