~By Petra Januskova
Hi, everyone. I’d like to share my last five months traveling on the pro tour with you!
Traveling the world is something I don’t take for granted. I get to see so many wonderful cities while playing the sport I love. How many people in this world get this opportunity? I also get to learn about other cultures, try new foods and even pick up a few words in foreign languages. The memories I’m creating will last my entire life.
I headed off to Tunisia for four weeks of tournaments in the middle of the month. While there, I stayed off the tournament site. You can focus more; it’s a lot calmer. But the biggest thing is that it’s a lot cheaper than staying at the tournament hotel. The rate at the official hotel was more than three times what it is at other hotels, located just a little over a mile away. Tunisia is a country that I’ve traveled to a handful of times.
Here are a few funny pictures from my walk to the courts when the camels took over the road, with tennis friends, and the … rather … basic tennis court at my hotel.
The tournaments went well. I won one doubles title with Julyette Steur of Germany.
JUNE-JULY: Germany, Vienna, Amsterdam – and a bucket-list trip
After Tunisia, I flew to Mannheim, Germany where I then took the train to Heidelberg. That’s where I played club matches between tournaments.
Heidelberg is very beautiful! It’s known as the second-most traveled city in Germany, attracting a million visitors a year. Here are a few pictures of the famous castle and from my league matches.
Here are a few fun facts about Heidelberg, Germany:
– Heidelberg escaped bombing in the Second World War
– The first evidence of human life in Europe was found in Heidelberg
– It’s home to the world’s biggest wine barrel!
In between my club matches I played tournaments in Vienna and Amsterdam. In Amsterdam, I took out the No. 1 seed in singles and lost in the quarterfinals.
In Vienna, I pulled my groin and lost in the second round (and pulled out of doubles with Dia Evtimova) As you can see, there are a lot of bikers in Amsterdam ):
I also checked out Zurich, Switzerland for two days in between league matches. It was on my bucket list of destinations I’ve always wanted to visit. Zurich is very beautiful, as it’s surrounded by hills and mountains. Here are a few pictures I took.
SEPTEMBER: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary
After the league matches were done, I was able to see my parents in the small city they hail from in the Czech Republic – Milevsko. My grandmother was celebrating her 90th birthday, so my parents came over to spend time with her and their family. After seeing my parents for a few days, I played two tournaments in Budapest.
At the Budapest $15K, I won the doubles title with Daniela Vismane of Latvia. After that tournament, I played the $60K doubles with Dia Evtimova and we lost in the second round.
Here are photos of Dia and me, and of downtown Budapest
In between my tournaments in Budapest and the Czech Republic, I spent time with my boyfriend Adrian in Bratislava, Slovakia and in the Czech Republic. We trained and spent some quality time together – which is always the best! Here are a few pictures of Adrian and I from the UFO in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Three tourneys in Czech
After that, I played three tournaments in Czech (Prague, Frydek Mistek, and Brno). I had some good wins and some tight matches against the top-seeded players. I made the singles quarterfinals twice. And we made the final in doubles at all three tournaments. But I didn’t get a title.
In praise of Prague
Prague is, hands down, my favorite city in the world! Not as glamorous as it looks!
There are so many benefits to traveling on the pro-Tour. But it can also be tough at times. Often we change locations every week, or every few weeks (if we’re lucky). And that means adapting to different time zones and climates. Also (if we’re lucky) sometimes we have so many matches to play, we have no time to explore the cities we are in. The traveling gets tiresome, and sometimes being on the road can get lonely without your family, friends, and loved ones. I’ve gotten really good at using Google Maps and taking the subway or bus in almost all the cities I visit. And I’ve learned a few different words in other languages. A successful summer!
To sum it all up: I won two doubles titles. I also got to spend some quality time between my tournaments with family and loved ones. Not only that, I visited some pretty cool cities and got to do what I love. 😉 My singles ranking is back in the 700s, and my doubles ranking is in the top 500.
The next two tournaments are in Canada: $60K events in Saguenay, Québec and Toronto, Ontario.
I’m excited to keep working on my tennis goals while I represent the best tennis brand out there!
Stay inPhormed 🙂