Traveling with Varvara from Brussels Open to the French Open at Roland Garros

Few people know the routine or lack of routine that a professional tennis player must handle.  Travel and living in hotels is one thing but dealing with rain delays, trying to time your practice and warm-up practice with rain conditions as well as guessing match times is a constant juggle.  One day your match could be first on, the next you might be 4th or 5th.  At a major that means it may be men's matches before you which can go 3 hours plus.  Roland Garros is a beautiful location and the French and Europeans are crazy about their tennis.  You can hardly walk in the general areas between the courts it is so crowded.  Varvara has shown me all the short cuts that having your credential card enables you to go. 

Our "routine" has been breakfast in our quaint little hotel/apartment then transportation to Roland Garros.  Varvara gets taped up, then we do a warm up routine in the gym, followed by practice on the court with either her father or usually a hitting partner.  A light Ki-Hara stretch follows practice then Varvara needs to stay fueled so we head to the players dining area for a small meal.  Then it is a matter of timing, what order she is playing and how long we wait.  She may play some games on her phone to keep her mind relaxed. and Peter (her father)  and I usually find a spot to do some work or squeeze in a quick workout.  Pre match is time for any adjustments in the body, warm-up again, maybe a little Ki-Hara and then some court time to get her system firing. 

After the match, we head directly to the gym, for a cool down on the bike and a more complete Ki-Hara session.  V has to be available for the press so she tries to schedule it late enough that we can do our cool down and she can refuel.  The most dangerous part for me is that I am not training nearly as hard,  but I am with her at every meal....with all this amazing food it is so tempting to keep eating on her schedule.  That can be dangerous!  Post interview, she may get a massage from the therapists and we wait for transportation to head back.  Timewise, a typical day starts around 7am and ends around 8 or 9pm.  It s all worth it when you see her smile at the end of a match knowing job well done. 

Some of My Favorite things:

The bread, the espresso, smoked salmon,  Roland Garros in the morning before the gates open, walking on the clay courts for practice, the towel from V's second round win

 

          French Open Towel gift from Varvara Lepchenko                  Players Lounge at Roland Garros 

Preparing the Courts after rain at Roland Garros, Paris France

After the rain!  Grounds crew gets the court ready

A Salad of my making at Roland Garros

An Amazing Salad at Roland Garros